Audio Script Version of Rogue Thoughts
Elsewhere on this site, you’ll see the first ever piece of Doctor Who fan-fiction I ever wrote (and to date, the only one). I wrote it in response to a Facebook competition, and I did it quickly. I was delighted when it won the competition, but thought little more about it.
On Wednesday, 17th June, 2015, I saw a call on a Facebook group from someone called Anthony Kiely, apparently from Cork, asking for writers and voice actors for a series of Doctor Who audio plays he intended to create. The criteria were:
- No previously-used Doctors or monsters
- Write a Doctor “like Capaldi”
- New Companion – Emily Winters, 25, modern, works in a shop
- Between 5-23 pages
- Maximum 4 other voices
Originally, he told me “just get it done by tonight.” When I said that wasn’t possible, I arranged to deliver my script by Monday 22nd June. I actually delivered it via Facebook Messenger on Sunday 21st June. The script was based on the short story, Rogue Thoughts, but changed to incorporate Emily Winters and a more Capaldi-like Doctor.
I had no contact from him until today, when he sent me a message, “is this a full script or just a draft?“
I told him it was a full script.
“ok thanks bye” he said. Then blocked me instantly, meaning I now have no way to know whether anything will happen with the script, and if it does, whether it goes out with my name attached to it. As such, I’m asserting my copyright on the piece – I’m happy to grant copyright approval on my work if people are honest about its use. But the way this happened seemed odd. I’m now about to post the script in full – as I say, the name Emily Winters does not belong to me. Everything else does – as you’ll see by comparing it to the Rogue Thoughts short story. Please don’t use this anywhere without contacting me first. In the meantime, enjoy if you’re a Who fan.
Rogue Thoughts – By Tony Fyler © Tony Fyler 2015
[The background noise for this whole story (bar Scene 6) should be Thunderstorm, which can be got from a Mood CD.
Pronunciation of the villain – apologies, it’s Welsh – is Meth- (as in Crystal Meth) – Ill (as in with a case of the flu) – Ee – as in the letter E – Ah – Meth-ill-eeah, Maj – as in Madge – or, as in either/or – Ee – as in the letter E – Ah – Madge-or-eeah. Altogether: Meth-ill-ee-ah Madge-or-ee-ah]
Scene 1 – [Interior, Franklin’s house]
[SFX Thunder cracks outside.]
Franklin: (excited, giggly, American accent, older man) Excellent! Hee hee. That’s it, sir, give it all the cannon you like, go on. Roar, y’almighty thundermaker! Throw whatever wrath you can down on our heads. Won’t do you no good sir. I have ya, yes I do. Tonight’s the night we steal fire from the gods all over again!
Scene 2 [Exterior, thunderstorm]
[SFX Tardis doors open]
[Emily]: Ohhhh, you’re ’avin’ a laugh! “Let’s got to Zaikon Delta,” he says. “Twin suns,” he says, “the purple one revives you from the inside out, the orange one toasts you golden brown.” I should’ve known that was Time Lord code for “Let’s end up in Miseryville, Missouri in the pitch black and the pouring bleedin’ rain!
Doctor: Let’s go.
Emily: I’m not goin’ out there! I dressed for twin suns! I’ll catch my death in this.
Doctor: If it doesn’t catch you first. Ominous sky. (He sniffs). Hmm.
Emily: I could go on strike, you know. Breach of contract. Twin suns you promised me.
Doctor: Fine, go on strike if you like. I’m going to follow a mysterious ion trail into adventure and possibly horrible doom, but by all means, stay here if you want to.
Emily: Mystery and horrible doom – how does a girl say no to that? You’re a right old miseryguts sometimes, Doctor, d’you know that? I didn’t think they had emos in outer space.
Doctor: Coming or not?
Emily: Hold on – mysterious ions? What are they about when they’re at home?
Doctor: When they’re at home, probably nothing. I think they’re a long way from home now though. Tardis picked them up en route to Zaikon Delta. Normally harmless, it’s a big universe, mysterious ions, who cares? Now though there’s an elevated chronon count. That can’t be good.
Emily: You remember the bit where I’m not Stephen Hawking, yeah? Me no speaky Genius. Talk thicko to me for a minute, will ya?
Doctor: Look, are you coming or not? The trail could be fading while you stand here being a disappointment to your ancestors.
Emily: (sighs). Right, right, hold on. I’ll get me coat.
[She goes to get a coat].
Doctor (to himself): Elevated chronon count, faint tinge of Zaphthur in the air, thunder… Hmm. Need more to go on. Still, not good.
(Emily returns, in a plastic mac and sou’wester):
Emily: Come on then, Emo Boy. Let’s get after these rogue ions of yours. But then, Zaikon Delta, yes? Promise me.
Doctor: Emily, after we’ve tracked these ions –
Emily: (putting on a voice of horror trailer overkill) – Into mystery and possibly doom –
Doctor: You can turn yourself into a Pop Tart on any planet you choose.
Emily: Nice one.
Doctor: Assuming the mystery and doom doesn’t kill us first, of course.
Emily: Ugh. Y’know while I’m goin’ golden brown? Think I’m gonna send you for Optimism Counselling. Come on then. (She steps out into the mud and rain). Ugh…
Scene 3 [Interior, Franklin’s house].
Franklin: Ah! Lightning flash – one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand fi-
[SFX Thunder clap.]
Franklin: Nearly here! Time to go then. Now – boots. Check. Kite – check. Key? Key, where’s the blessed key, ya foolish fellow? (pats pockets). Ah – key. Hehe. The key indeed. The key to the electrical secrets of the gods, that’s what you are. (Kisses the key with a “Mwah”). Electrical. Yesss, electrical, undeniably so sir, or I’m the King of England. Oh – hat! Hat sir, or you’ll be a soggy king and no mistake, hee hee. With a soggy crown, no doubt. Forget my own head one of these days, and a fine state of affairs that’ll be…
Scene 4 [Exterior, Franklin’s front door].
[SFX Sonic screwdriver.]
Emily: It’s a door.
Doctor: Hmm. Interesting, no?
Emily: No, I mean it’s a door – you could just try knocking it like a normal person, rather than doing the whole skulking and sonicing thing.
Doctor: Only helpful if whoever opens the door knows about chronon build-ups and their resultant time-folding properties. Do you know about chronon build-ups and their resultant time-folding properties, or do you still want me to talk thicko to you?
Emily: Where are we, anyway?
Doctor: America. 17…something, from the taste of the rain. Pre-Industrial. Should really have checked. Anyway, where’s your spirit of adventure?
Emily: It’s in a cocktail glass on Zaikon Delta, since you mention it. Thought the sonic didn’t do wood.
Doctor: Doesn’t. Which is interesting…
Emily: Knock the door, Doctor! Let’s get in out of the rain, shall we?
[SFX: Door opening]
Franklin: Ah! Good heavens sir, you startled me!
Doctor: Well, that I wasn’t expecting. Emily, allow me to introduce Doctor Benjamin Franklin.
[Music: Theme, if being used]
Franklin: Delighted to meet you, Miss. Do I know you, sir?
Doctor: Yes. No. Well, yes and no. Depends, really. Ohhh – chronon build-up. But that would mean…
Franklin: Pardon, sir?
Emily: Give him a minute. He does this, you get used to it after a while. Erm…d’you mind if we come in, Doctor Franklin? It’s a bit wet.
Franklin: Err…yes. Yes of course. I was going out.
Doctor: (snapping back from wherever he’s been) Going out? In this? You don’t want to do that. Catch your death in this weather.
Emily: (sotto voce) If it doesn’t catch you first.
Doctor: (pushing into the house). Tell you what, Doctor Franklin. How about rather than getting soaked to the skin, we all go indoors and you can tell us all about your latest work over a nice cup of tea?
[Audio dynamic shifts from external to internal here]
Franklin: Tea, sir?
Doctor: Coffee? Juice? A margarita? Where’s Sam Addams when you need him, that’s what I say.
Franklin: Are you quite well, sir? You appear to be babbling.
Doctor: Not me. I never babble. Ask anyone. So, Doctor Franklin, how’ve you been?
Franklin: You’re mistaken sir. I am no doctor. Mere printing is all my service. Well, printing and a little scientific dabbling.
Doctor: You’re not a doctor yet? Wait a minute – is that a kite?
Franklin: Hmm? Oh, yes sir. As I mentioned, I was about to go out when you arrived.
Doctor: And fly a kite. Tonight? Doctor Franklin, I have a horrible suspicion I know the answer to this, but indulge me – what’s the date?
Franklin: The date, sir? Why, what was the date when you found the tavern from which you’ve late returned?
Emily: He thinks you’re drunk. (To Franklin) Sorry, Mister Franklin, we’ve been travelling around a lot. You get confused. You know how it is.
Franklin: Indeed Miss, but I flatter myself I’ve never lost track of what day it was.
Doctor: You will, believe me. Please?
Franklin: It is the fifteenth of June, 1752.
Doctor: 1752, 1752, 1750- yep, thought as much.
Emily: What’s so special about 1752?
Doctor: How long has it been calling you?”
Doctor: The work, the idea of flying a kite in a storm. How long?
Franklin: H-how did you…? Ah, the equipment, of course. You guessed. Well, the idea has been developing for some time.
Doctor: Of course it has. And the idea is what?
Franklin: (Pause) Forgive me sir, but I don’t even know your name.
Doctor: Smith. Doctor John Smith. I’m an admirer of your work. So the idea – flying a kite in a thunderstorm? Some people would say that’s a great way of having a short career.
Franklin: Doctor, you say? Medical man or student of the sciences?
Doctor: Like yourself, I dabble.
Emily: You would not believe…
Franklin: Ah. Well you see sir, I want to study the lightning. I contend that pressure is the key to determining whether an electrical fluid is positively or negatively charged.
Doctor: And you just woke up one morning with the idea of catching the lightning, did you?
Franklin: Indeed, yes. It seemed the best way to test my hypothesis – live, as it were.
Emily: Live like 1.21 Gigawatts.
Doctor: And yet you tell me to talk Thicko to you.
Emily: I wouldn’t be that impressed. Back To The Future, innit?
Doctor: Hmm… in a while. Tell me Benjamin, have you been feeling unwell at all lately? Nausea, cramps in the stomach, strange dreams, that kind of thing?
Franklin: Are my ideas laughable to you then, Doctor Smith? You think I must be mad or sick?
Doctor: Nnno, but have you been?
Franklin: Well…maybe a little, off and on, but that’s because I’ve been working late. A man should make time to balance his life. Mine has been rather…lopsided of late. Digestive irregularity and bad dreams are only to be expected as a result.
Doctor: Got to love a scientist. Most eager to rationalise the irrational, and first to believe themselves.
Emily: Says the man with a time-travelling police box that’s bigger on the inside.
Doctor: And the nausea – I’m guessing it’s only in the mornings, when you wake up?
Emily: Oh God, you’re not saying he’s pregnant? Is Benjamin Franklin pregnant?
Franklin: Aye, in the morning. Tell me Doctor Smith, how do you know so much without being told?
Doctor: (Sighs) I’ve seen it before. See, the funny thing is, this shouldn’t be happening at all – not here, not now. (Pulls out sonic screwdriver)
[SFX: Sonic Screwdriver]
Doctor: This is a sonic screwdriver. Handy little gadget, no you can’t have a look. Thing it, it doesn’t do wood. Does metal, does plastic, does advanced micro-circuitry and the sensitive earbones of marine creatures. You give it a lump of wood, it comes over all – well, human, frankly, all “What’s that when it’s at home?” and “Talk Thicko to me.”
Doctor: I was using it to track mysterious ions, and it led me right to your door. Now your door’s made of wood. Normally my sonic screwdriver should be all “Je ne comprende pas,” but it loved you door. It led me straight to you, Benjamin Franklin, and that’s no coincidence.
Franklin: (to Emily) Did you understand any of that?
Emily: Welcome to my life.
Franklin: When I scanned your door, the screwdriver recognized what the ions were. They’re the resonance traces from the movement patterns of a species called the Methylia Majoria.
Franklin and Emily: (together) The what?
Doctor: The Methyliau Majoria. Pretentious name for a pretentious, parasitic lifeform. Most people just call them The Lightning. Just as pretentious, but shorter. Easier to yell when you’re running away.
Franklin: Forgive me Doctor, but have you been feeling unwell at all lately? A sharp blow to the head, perhaps?
Emily: Been sooo tempted. (To the Doctor)Are they dangerous, Doctor? These lightning-creatures?
Doctor: Depends what they’re after. (To Franklin) Why you, that’s what I don’t understand. Normally, they go for whatever’s available. But you. They’ve been tracking you down. Stalking you specifically.
Emily: Not loving the sound of them, for what it’s worth.
Doctor: The Methyliau Majoria are like – Benjamin, you know how a mind is made up of thoughts – electrical impulses – going through the brain?
Franklin: So I believe.
Doctor: The Methyliau Majoria are like a mind, only instead of a brain, they use a cloud. Great big space-clouds, floating through the universe, like weather where there’s no business being any. Every now and then, they get curious about the creatures they sense on some planet or other, and a cloud will send out focused patterns of electrical impulses. Dreams, usually, cos most people are easier to influence when they’re asleep. And the chosen victim will get the idea that they want to touch the lightning. The Methyliau Majoria will oblige and wallop! Lightning strikes, replaces the victim’s own mind, and the Lightning walks about for a while.
Franklin: Really, Doctor, I think perhaps you need help. You sound hysterical.
Doctor: Got a coin? Any coin?
Franklin: I have a quarter right here.
Doctor: Let me have it.
Emily: I’m fairly sure he means to say please.
Doctor: One quarter, perfectly ordinary, bit cheap. Now watch this.
[SFX The doctor spins the coin on the wooden table.]
Emily: Alright, so you can spin a coin. What does that prove?
[SFX The spinning noise increases in speed and volume.]
Emily: Alright, that’s freaky. How can it be speeding up?
[SFX The spinning noise speeds up even more, then stops abruptly.]
Emily: Are you kidding me?
Franklin: ’Pon my soul sir – you’re levitating my quarter.
[SFX High pitched whining noise, followed by a small bang.]
Franklin: Where? Where did it go?
Doctor: Sorry, Benjamin, I owe you a quarter. I’ll buy you a drink when you get to London.
Franklin: To – what?
Doctor: The point is, that’s your brain on the Methylia Majoria. That’s what happens when you touch the lightning. As I say, what I can’t understand is why the Methyliau Majoria would have chosen you. They’re not normally so discriminating. Normally they’ll happily zap whatever spends a lot of time closest to them, up on hillsides. Sheep. Maybe a shepherd if they’re lucky. But you…
[SFX: Sonic screwdriver normal, then if possible, raise the pitch to a high whine]
[SFX Static crackle.]
Doctor: I’m alright. The Tardis is going to sulk though – she thinks I go through screwdrivers too fast as it is. (To Franklin) Alright, show yourselves! No more pretending, I know you’re here.
[SFX: Any shimmering, crackling, fizzing noises you have. Franklin’s body is fizzing and hissing with moving worms of yellow, sparking energy].
Emily: Oh, my God. That can’t be good for him. It’s like there’s worms all over him. Worms of – what, lightning?
Doctor: (To Franklin) Took you long enough. But you lot don’t stalk people! You lure them, I know, but not like this. Usually it’s wham, bam, wallop and that’s an end of it. It’s not exactly humane but at least it’s quick. What’s all this about?
[SFX: More crackling and fizzing.]
Franklin: (Strange, rumbling, sibiliant voice): Ssssssssanctuary!
Franklin: Wwwwwe clllllaim ssssannnctuary.
Doctor: Sanctuary from what? You’re a bunch of independent thoughts from a big space-cloud, what sort of threat are you facing?
Franklin: The Mmmmmethyliau Mmmmajoria.
Doctor: Hold on, you’re the Methyliau Majoria…aren’t you?
Doctor: Oh. Then who are you?”
Franklin: Exxxxiles…outcasssts. We are the Mmmmethyliau Miiiiinoria.
Franklin: Wwwwwe rebelled.
Doctor: Oh. Rogue thoughts. That must be…tricky. So they kicked you out?
Franklin: We esscaped.
Doctor: And you’re getting the hand of the human voicebox, I see. Escaped from what? What was the issue?
Franklin: Thhey want to colllonise…this world. Wwe said no.
Doctor: Dissent in the cloud-mind? (To Emily) They gave it an attack of schizophrenia. (To Franklin). So why stalk Franklin?
Franklin: His mind reached out to us. He offered us escape. His mind is…full of us.
Doctor: Rogue thoughts? You could be right. But you can’t just have him…He’s important. Important as he is, I mean, not as a host for you lot.”
Franklin: This is not a debate. Our escape alerted the Majoria. There are more of us in the cloud. They will be destroyed tonight unless they follow us here. The host must touch the lightning…
Doctor: You’re not listening – he can’t. You’ve only gone and chosen yourself a major historical figure for a host. He’s going to go on to do incredible things. Crucial things. You’re going to interfere with established history on this planet, and I can’t allow that. Not here, not now, and not with this man.
[SFX: Angry crackling.]
Franklin: You cannot stop us.
Emily: You’re not from round here, are you?
Doctor: We can do this the hard way if you insist. Or you can take my warning, and my offer.
Doctor: I can’t allow you to change this man’s life. I can’t let him touch the lightning. That’s your warning.
Franklin: And your offer?
Doctor: Take me instead.
Emily: Wait a minute! You can’t do that, you’ll be all…wormy.
Doctor: It’d save Franklin. And probably history. The web of time, all that gubbins.
Emily: You reckon? You don’t think you might have one or two things to do yourself in the whole ‘web of time gubbins’?
Doctor: I’m not important.
Emily: Ohhhh, I knew you were an Emo.
[SFX: Shivering energy]
Franklin: Who…exactly…are you?
Doctor: I can take you somewhere. I can be a cruise-ship for you, take you wherever you want to be, and deliver you into a cloud of your own, or a body of your own if you like.
Franklin: You would do that…for this man?
Doctor: In a handful of heartbeats. Do we have a deal? I imagine your friends are coming.
Franklin: You will touch the lightning?
Doctor: You know I won’t have a choice. But yes. I’ll touch it. But you leave this man alone – leave this species alone. What’s your answer?
Doctor: Good decision. Give me your hand.
Emily: You really can’t do this!
[SFX: whooshing sound, as the energy field around Franklin shudders and spreads, enveloping the doctor’s hand and arm in a coiling cloudy bracelet that soon swirled up his shoulders and envelops him.]
[SFX: Thud as Franklin falls to the floor.]
Emily: Ben! Ben are you alright? Ben, wake up!
Doctor: (laughs, and laughs, the sound tinged with razor-wire and lightning burns). Fool!
[SFX: Doctor grabs some items and runs out of the door. Door slams.]
Emily: Ben! Ben, wake up! It’s the Doctor – they’ve got the Doctor. And he’s got your kite.
Emily: Oh thank God. Thought you were a gonner for a minute there.
Franklin: Confound the man!
Emily: C’mon, can you stand? He took your kite.
Franklin: Of course he did. Brave man. Stupid as any newspaper editor I ever met, but brave all the same.
Emily: Let’s get after him.
[SFX: Door slams.]
[Scene 5 – Exterior – field adjacent to Franklin’s house]
[SFX: Thunderstorm increasing, the Doctor running]
Emily: (running, breathless) Doctor!
Franklin: (running, breathless) Doctor Smith! Stop, man! It’s a trick!
Doctor: (No longer running) Yes! Goooood, isn’t it? (laughs)
Franklin: (as they almost catch up) It’s a trick sir. They are invaders! They mean to make us puppets of the Lightning!
Doctor: Excellent plan. Clap hands, little man. You too, Miss. Give us a big hand.
[SFX: Zapping sound – the Doctor arcing the Lightning at the two of them]
[SFX: Emily and Franklin clapping, as if enthusiastically]
Doctor: Good little monkeys. We shall have the T…T…Timelord’s body, and this world as our plaything! Now – let’s go fly a kite!
[SFX] Sound of kite going up in the air(!)
Doctor: Yaargh…Emmmmmmm’ly! Fiiiiiiiiiight it! Sttttttttop cuuuuulllllappping!
Emily: Nnnnyyyaaa…. I’m free. I’m not clapping. They must be weakening!
Doctor: Keeeeeey! Arrrrrgh!
[SFX: Doctor lands on his knees in the mud.]
Doctor: Naughty, naughty, Time Lord. We had a deeeal, remember? Down in the mud you go. Don’t make us show you what happens to playthings that cross us. Which would you like killed first? The shopgirl or the scientist? Who’ll be the hors d’oeuvre before the lightning strikes?
[SFX: Sudden absence of Franklin’s clapping.]
Franklin: Confound you, you creatures of light and broken promises. You’ll not get the better of me a second time. You may be from some other world, but I’m from this one, and I’ll stand for it if I have to.
Emily: Nice words, Ben, but if the Lightning strikes, it’s gonna zap 1.21 Gigawatts through the Doctor!
Franklin: The key! Doctor Smith, the key’s gone! The key is what I hoped would channel the current, so it wouldn’t kill me!
Emily: Tardis key! Inside pocket!
Doctor: Not so fast, Miss!
Emily: (Squeals) Let go of me, ya big alien!
Doctor: How sweet – the Time Lord and his monkey will touch the Lightning together.
Franklin: Excuse me.
[SFX Thump as Franklin hits the Doctor.]
Franklin: Let go, sir! Let go of the damn string!
Emily: Ben! I’ve done it! I’ve tied the Tardis key on!
Franklin: Capital! But he’s – oh to hell and damnation with it.
[SFX: bigger thump – Franklin shoulder charges the Doctor, they both land in the mud.]
[SFX lightning bolt. Bang. Tardis noise]
[Scene 6 – Interior, Franklin’s bedroom. No noise of rain]
Doctor: Wakey, wakey.
Franklin: What? What in the name of all the saints…? You’re alive.
Doctor: Oh yes.
Franklin: (with less enthusiasm) You’re real.
Emily: Real as they come, Benny Boy!
Franklin: Were I to enquire of you precisely what happened last night, would I live to regret the entreaty?
Doctor: Tardis key. Clever thing. Made out of the same material as my ship. The Lightning hit it, and it…well…
Emily: It hit back.
Doctor: Exactly. You know Newton? For every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction? The Lightning hit the Tardis key and it was a classic case of the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. To cut a long and complicated story short, the Tardis key sucked the Methyliau into the time vortex. They won’t be dead in there, they’ll just have a lot of time to think about their actions.
Franklin: A key? A key sucked out all the…rogue thoughts?
Doctor: Did I say? Very clever thing, the Tardis key.
Franklin: And what, pray, of the…Methy…Methyl… What of the thoughts that inhabited me?
Doctor: I don’t know. I was a bit busy being hit by lightning at the time. Ordinary lightning, thankfully – the key acted like a filter. Still – enough to make your hair stand on end and not recommended for humans beings.
Franklin: Of which species, I am to conclude, you cannot be numbered…shall we say a fully paid-up member?
Doctor: It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Benjamin. Apart from the possession, and the lightning strikes, and the punching, obviously, which I didn’t enjoy at all.
Emily: That’s about as close to a compliment as he gets, I’d take it and run away if I were you.
Franklin: But the thoughts? Will they come back to haunt me?
Doctor: Well, rogue thoughts in themselves aren’t bad, Benjamin. Even rebellious thoughts have their time and their place. Tell you what though….just to be on the safe side, might be wise to stay away from electrical experiments, eh? Try something safer. Politics, maybe?
Franklin: My dear Doctor Smith, if you think politics is safer than lightning storms, you really don’t understand our American story. Doctor Smith? Doctor Smith??!
[SFX: Tardis take-off]
Franklin: Politics, indeed! What rot…