Dust Breeding (audio story)

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Dust Breeding was the twenty-first story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Mike Tucker and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, Sophie Aldred as Ace and Louise Faulkner as Bev Tarrant.

It also debuted in audio form the Master voiced by Geoffrey Beevers, who had last played the role in The Keeper of Traken in 1981. It also featured Caroline John, known to play the Third Doctor's companion Liz Shaw, playing another character.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

On nineteenth-century Earth, artist Edvard Munch hears an infinite scream pass through nature. Centuries later, his painting of that Scream hangs in a gallery on the barren dust world Duchamp 331.

Why is there a colony of artists on a planet that is little more than a glorified garage? What is the event that the passengers of the huge, opulent pleasure cruiser 'Gallery' are hoping to see? And what is hidden in the crates that litter the cargo hold?

The Doctor's diary indicates that the painting is about to be destroyed in "mysterious circumstances", and when he and Ace arrive on Duchamp 331, those circumstances are well underway.


Part one[[edit]]

On 1920s Earth, two doctors discuss about one of their patients, Edvard Munch the painter, who claims to be haunted by a mysterious voice. One of the two doctors informs the other the painter managed to create a picture, The Scream, representing the voice, and now seems calmer.

Centuries later, the Doctor shows Ace a room in the TARDIS where he keeps works of art he claims to have "saved" from mysterious disappearances, and informs her they are on their way to perform another one of those "rescues". They are directed towards Duchamp 331, a desolate planet destined to be a pit stop, but also the place where an artist, Damien Pierson, has founded an art centre with a gallery in it. Inside the gallery, there is a copy of Munch's Scream - the painting the Doctor wants to get.

Meanwhile, another ship is directed towards Duchamp 331: a luxury cruise led by Madam Salvadori, a self-proclaimed art lover, and her right-hand man, Klemp. Amongst their many guests, members of the elites of the universe, there is also the mysterious and wealthy Mr. Seta, whose identity neither of them manage to ascertain, and which brought on board a mysterious cargo.

Upon their arrival, the Doctor and Ace come across a desolate scenario. Not only is Duchamp 331 nothing but a great sphere made of dust, but the refill station they land on has been ravaged quite recently. They find only one survivor, and bring him to the main station which houses the art gallery. Here they are reunited with Bev Tarrant, a previous acquaintance, and meet Guthrie, the station manager, and Damien himself, who explains his project. The Doctor sends Ace to take a look at the gallery, as he and Bev check upon the survivor.

Ace enters the gallery and finds the painting of The Scream, but as soon as she glances upon it, she hears a voice screaming into her head and runs away in fear. In the morgue, the Doctor and Bev cut open the corpse of the man they saved and discover it's entirely made of dust; as they still try to figure out what it means, the dust reanimates and attacks them.

Part two[[edit]]

The Doctor is able to slightly open a vent, ridding them of the dust and saving his and Bev's life. Guthrie also arrives to open the door of the morgue, escaping in time and avoid being attacked by dust too. Encouraged by the Doctor, Guthrie tells them about the death of his partner, years ago, when they were building the station: the dust attacked them, and his partner was killed. Bev is ready to dismiss the story as an invention, but the Doctor instead accepts it as true, and gathers the dust really is animated and someone controls it - probably Damien.

In the meantime, Ace has stumbled across Damien, looking on the Doctor and Bev being attacked by the dust. Discovered, Damien knocks her out and shuts her in the gallery, waiting for the entity whose voice he hears from years to make her "connected" with it. The Doctor reaches Damien in time in the gallery and takes her place, connecting himself with the entity inside The Scream; at the same time, following the Doctor's instructions, Bev and Guthrie try planning an evacuation of the place.

Aboard Salvadori's ship, she and Klemp investigate the death of one of their guards, whom Seta killed as he approached his mysterious cargo. Seta threatens Salvadori of terrible consequences if they do not reach Duchamp 331 in time, but the woman, unfazed, orders Klemp and his men to open Seta's cargo. They find four eggs of unknown origin. Seta reaches for them and, using a device, causes the eggs to open, freeing four Krills who attack the crew. He also hypnotizes Seta, who then reveals himself to be the Decayed Master.

Part three[[edit]]

The four Krills decimate the crew and the guests of Salvadori's luxury ship, while the Master keeps her and Klemp hostages, so that the ship remains on its course to Duchamp 331. He intends to arrive there and pit the Krills against the entity. On Duchamp 331, the entity is possessing the Doctor and talks through him to Ace, introducing himself as the Warp Core, a sentient weapon created by an ancient civilization, later abandoned by its creators when they realised it was unstoppable. He found refuge on Earth, where he inspired and tortured Munch by acting upon his fears and obsessions, to the point Munch made a painting to trap him, and succeeded.

When the Doctor finally takes back his body, he realises the Warp Core has inspired and controlled Damien into gathering the colony of artists, whose minds he absorbed, getting enough power to control the entire planet and its dust. The Doctor confronts Damien, but the Warp Core has already gathered enough energy to free itself from the painting and take possession not only of Damien's mind, but of the whole planet. The Doctor, Bev and Ace barely managed to get out, the first one into the TARDIS, the other two on Bev's ship; Guthrie stays back to confront the dust to avenge his partner.

With Salvadori's ship in sight, all the survivors climb aboard, on two different levels. Bev and Ace come across a Krill (which the latter recognizes from a previous adventure), while the Doctor stumbles upon the Master.

Part four[[edit]]

The Master tells the Doctor the Warp Core was created to fight against the Krills; it's the only being they fear. He is bringing them to Duchamp 331 hoping they will fight against each other, thus weakening the Core enough for the Master to shut the Warp Core inside his TARDIS. He already tried that by stealing The Scream painting, but the Warp Core proved impossible for him to subdue; the Master lost his Trakenite body in the fight, and was reduced to his previous "decayed" form.

Ace and Bev, together with Salvadori, reach the Doctor and the Master avoiding the Krills; on the way, Bev scares away a Krill apparently only by shouting at it. The Warp Core approaches them and recognizes the Master, who claims to be behind his recollocation[?] to Duchamp 331 (the planet of the Krills after the Core destroyed it), Damien's foundation of the art centre and Salvadori's cruise, and proposes him an alliance against the Krills. He tries to offer Salvadori's life as a pledge, but Klemp breaks the Master's hold on his mind long enough to save Salvadori and be killed in her place. The Warp Core refuses the Master's offer and tries to kill everyone.

The Doctor, Ace, Bev and Salvadori escape and try to reach the TARDIS at the lower levels of the ship. When Ace tells him about the Krill scared by Bev, the Doctor realizes the dust on Bev's body frightens the Krills since it's a part of the Core's body. When they come across another Krill, Bev tries the trick again, but this time it does not work; only Salvadori's sacrifice allows the three of them to enter the TARDIS and save themselves from the Krill. Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor mentally contacts the Master and tries taking control of the dust to fight the Core, using also the energy from the Master's TARDIS. He eventually wins when, on the planet, Guthrie blows out his station with a lighter, engulfing the entire planet in a giant explosion and destroying the station and the Core.

The Doctor and Ace head back to Earth, visiting an art gallery to admire The Scream. The Doctor tells Ace the Core has been destroyed, but he is not sure whether the Master survived. He also gathers they have to bring Bev back to her own time - before she steals something from the museum they're in. Ace jokingly suggests the Doctor should take up collecting stamps instead in future.




  • The Warp Core strips the Master's previous body, leaving only his original decaying Time Lord body.




External links[[edit]]