The Destination Wars (audio story)

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The Destination Wars was the first story in the audio anthology The First Doctor Adventures: Volume One, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Matt Fitton and featured David Bradley as the First Doctor, Claudia Grant as Susan Foreman, Jamie Glover as Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell as Barbara Wright and introduced James Dreyfus as The Master.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

The TARDIS arrives in a gleaming utopia in the Space Year 2003. Has the Doctor truly brought Ian and Barbara home, to glimpse their future?

The world owes much to its legendary Inventor, and Susan finds herself face to face with the great benefactor. But soon, the time travellers are in a world at war and the Doctor must confront his past.


Journey to the Future (1)[[edit]]

The TARDIS lands inside a container, in a big room which looks like a storeroom, just after the Doctor finished doing some adjustments to re-calibrate the ship. The travellers come out, and while Susan and Barbara stay behind to take notes of the container they landed in, the Doctor and Ian go look outside to see where they are. From the window, they see a world who, in its appearance, looks rather similar to the Earth, albeit some year in the future: cars are now hovering, and there are screens showing the time of the day and the year, Space Year 2003.

They ask a passer-by, introducing himself as Robac, City Warden, for information, and he confirms them that that is indeed the year they are in (which Barbara and Ian take as a confirmation that this is their Earth forty years in the future). He asks them whether they are friends of the Inventor, but the Doctor replies they are travellers just arrived there and curious to know more. Robac then invites them all to his house, where they are welcomed by his wife, Tanna, head of a city scientific guild and security chief, and his teenage daughter Reena. As Susan and Reena retire to the room of the latter, the adults sit at the meal with Robac and Tanna, who inform them this is a very important day: the Inventor, the man to whom the people of their planet owe their scientific development, has returned and is going to address them with a public speech, which shall be broadcast citywide from the screens.

Reena confides to Susan her dream of becoming an inventor, just as their own, and reveals her they are not actually on Earth, but on Destination, a planet miles away from Earth. The same conclusion is reached also by Ian and Barbara when the Doctor has Robac explain what the date really means: Space Year 2003 is the number of years passed since the ancestors of the actual colony came from another world to this planet. The Doctor then proceeds to inform their guests that they too come from another world; Robac and Tanna then decide to immediately bring the three of them to the City Centre, in order to inform the Inventor, verify their claims and have accommodations prepared for them. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara agree and all of them depart for the City Administration Building.

While passing for the main square, the travellers notice some little robots with eyestalks: the servers, Robac explained, keeping them in order and watching over them when the Inventor is away. Tanna, on the other hand, tells them about the statue in the middle of the square, a memorial of the war the colonists fought against the Dalmari, the original inhabitants of this planet. With the help of the Inventor, the colonists managed to drive them away and lock them out of the town. Tanna is still talking, when she receives a sudden call and storms off. Robac also leaves them in the main square beside the statue, while he goes to inform the servers of their arrival. While alone, the travellers think about what has been told them: Ian is not persuaded by the tales about the Inventor, and Barbara is perplexed at the similarities between this civilization and the Earth one. The Doctor asks Ian to retrieve Susan and cone back here; as soon as he is off, he tells Barbara he noticed worry on Tanna's face as she received her communication. The two of them then follows Tanna along the alleyway she went through.

As the Doctor and Barbara follow Tanna and a squadron of soldiers she is leading beneath the city, when they find themselves surrounded by a group of Dalmari, a server of the Inventor reaches Robac's house and tells Reena she has been selected to meet the Inventor, as is customary on Destination when he arrives. Ian arrives at that moment to fetch Susan, but the server receives new information: Ian and Susan are to accompany Reena to meet the Inventor. Once they are inside the Inventor's laboratory (a grandiose building in the centre city), Reena is sent by the servers to prepare food for the Inventor, while Susan and Ian get to meet him personally. As soon as he sees him, Susan recognises the Inventor as the Master and tries to warn Ian about him, but the Master easily dismisses her and talks directly to Ian, saying that, unlike the Doctor, he can bring him and Barbara home.

The Father of Invention (2)[[edit]]

Susan tries to warn Ian about the Master, but he uses his hypnotic abilities to make her silent. After she is driven away by a server, the Master has Ian tell him everything about him, Barbara and the Doctor since their encounter. Ian tells him everything, even when the TARDIS is located, as the Master insists he can help him and Barbara get home, and that they shouldn't trust the Doctor, which, he reveals, is a criminal among their people. Eventually, the Master gets from Ian everything he wished to know and make him fall asleep, but not before having given him some instructions.

Susan, awakened from the trance imposed on her by the Master, finds herself a prisoner in another part of the laboratory. Reena is sent to bring her food, accompanied by a server, but Susan takes this opportunity to disable it and try to run away. She is stopped by another server and subdued, while Reena meets the Master and receives from him instruction and plans for the next technological advancements to be achieved on Destination, which she is supposed to bring to her people. The Master also tells her to relate he won't be staying this time, because of urgent matters.

In the underground, the Dalmari have surrounded Tanna and her men, but they're still not attacking. The Doctor tries to communicate with them and, to the surprise of everyone, a Dalmari answers to him using a device. The arrival of Robac with another troop of men interrupts the communication, but the Doctor is still able to get the device the Dalmari used; he also observes with Barbara that the weapons displayed by the Dalmari were strikingly similar to those of Destination's people.

The group comes back to the surface just in time for the Doctor to recognise the Master from the images of his last visit, which are shown on the city's screens. Enraged and worried, the Doctor gives Robac the device he took from the Dalmari, instructing him to give it a closer look and storms off for the Master's laboratory, where he and Barbara are immediately received. At the same time, Reena goes out and gives her parents the new plans of the Master; Tanna decides their development will start immediately, ignoring the Doctor's warnings to wait for him.

In the laboratory, the travellers are reunited and the Doctor confronts the Master. The Master, glad to finally show off his work to someone who can appreciate it (or so he thinks), makes her see that, from inside his capsule, he can travel forward in time. Twelve years in front of the travellers' eyes and war breaks out between Destination's colonists and the Dalmari, devastating the city: a perfect occasion for the Master to come back and save them all once more. Furious, the Doctor presents the Master to Ian and Barbara describing him as "the worst of our people, a very poison to the cosmos, and he calls himself the Master!"

The Destination Wars (3)[[edit]]

Somehow flattered, the Master explains how, contrary to what the Doctor believes, he is not exploiting Destination's colonists out of greed or desire; in fact, he admits he had an accident with his TARDIS, and he crashlanded here on this planet, "in the earliest Segment of Time". He then furnished the colonists indications and plans for technological development, hoping they would sooner or later get to the point of discovering nuclear fission, which will once again power the engines of his ship. His laboratory is actually the control room of his TARDIS, detached by the rest of the ship, and still keeping enough technology to travel forward in time.

However, now that the Doctor is here, the Master has no more need of Destination's colonists: the Doctor can simply take him away with him in his TARDIS. The Doctor refuses to do so, and the Master, to force his hand, orders his servers to throw out of there his companions, leaving them amidst the war on Destination. While out there, Ian, Barbara and Susan meet Reena, who leads them to a bunker where survivors on Destination are grouped after the Dalmari attack almost destroyed the city. The travellers learn that Robac died the first year of the war, when the Dalmari sabotaged a conference that was being held to find a peaceful solution. Now Destination's colonists, led by Tanna, have come to the point of developing nuclear power, which, as the "Inventor" promised them, it will be their weapon to win the war.

Reena, however, has grown disillusioned with her faith in the Inventor, and kept the communication device the Doctor gave Robac. Accompanied by Susan and Barbara (as Ian distracts Tanna by pretending to help her with the nuclear fission), which tell her the truth about the Inventor, she goes to see one of the Dalmari her mother keeps as prisoners and uses the device to communicate with him. The Dalmari reveals her that it were the "metal men" (i.e. the servers) to disrupt the conference by killing the representants of both people. Understanding that their wars had been the product of the Master's manipulations, Barbara, Susan and Reena free the Dalmari prisoners and tell them what happened. In the meantime, Susan and Reena will go up to the communication tower and, using Robac's device, will stop the bombings, so that the Dalmari and the colonists can finally talk.

Meanwhile, the Master has managed to force the TARDIS' key out of the Doctor, by threatening to abandon Susan, Ian and Barbara on Destination. He then allows the Doctor to go and retrieve Susan, making him believe they can all leave together; as soon as he is out, the Master contacts Ian and Barbara with one of his servers and, imitating the Doctor's voice, have them come back to the TARDIS, unwillingly leading him to it. He then hypnotises both to enter in the ship with him, and the three of them depart, leaving the Doctor and Susan stranded on Destination.

Prisoners of Time (4)[[edit]]

Stranded, the Doctor and Susan have no other choice but try to stop the war between the colonists and the Dalmari. Noticing that, without the Master, the servers wander without purpose, the Doctor repograms them so that he can control them, and marches them off to the battlefield. Their presence stops the Dalmari, who are afraid of them, and allows the Doctor to talk to Tanna and convince her to suspend the hostilities for an hour, the time for him to come back to the laboratory and reveal to both people the truth about their wars and the Inventor.

In the TARDIS, the Master proves himself unable to fly the ship, due to the Doctor's meddling with the commands. Ian and Barbara in the meantime realise they have been hypnotised: the Master used their desire to protect one another to make them obey him. Together, they came up with a plan against him. Using a slingshot Ian confiscated to one of their students their last day at school, Barbara distracts the Master, giving Ian time to throw one of their Chinese dresses over him; they then tie him up and close him in a room in the TARDIS. However, the Master sneers at them, saying that they are not better at driving the TARDIS than he is.

On Destination, the Doctor lights the screens of the city and shows the Dalmari and the colonists evidences about the Master's true nature and deeds, thus persuading the two sides to stop fighting and start talking. He then begins to take control of the Master's platform to move forward in time, thinking that maybe they can reach a time where Destination's technology has developed so much that they use it to leave. Susan protests: not only that is too similar to what the Master was doing, but also, they cannot abandon these people when they are just beginning a new path. Reena runs in, telling the Doctor that the two species are finding difficulties to communicate: they will probably need a third party to truly listen to each other. The Doctor, persuaded, programs the capsule to jump forward in time for two years, with Susan and Reena in the inside, before going out and join the peace talks to help everyone.

In the TARDIS, Ian and Barbara decide to use the fast return switch to come back to Destination: it works, and they come back to the planet two years after they left. They are greeted by the Doctor, who shows them how much Destination has changed under his guidance and thanks them for bringing back the TARDIS. At the same time, Reena and Susan emerge from the time capsule, and Reena is reunited with her mother. All seems well, but the Master manages to escape from the crate they put him in and comes back to the laboratory, when he prepares to announce his return to Destination's citizens.

However, just as he is about to do so, the Doctor cuts off his message. He says that he detached all connections between his laboratory and the city, leaving only energy enough to keep it functional but not working; right now, the energy is so low the Master is not even able to open the doors. He is, for all intents and purposes, trapped. He then forces the Master to acknowledge he crashlanded on Destination after stealing a faulty TARDIS too, albeit in a worse state than the Doctor's; the rest of it was dispersed in the Vortex, and that is all that remains of the control room. The Master begs the Doctor not to leave him here, but the Doctor cuts off the communication.

The travellers finally leave Destination, admonishing their colonists that them, and only them, are the real inventors. They land somewhere else - another alley. Ian comes out to check their surroundings, but he only manages to take a few steps before being shot.




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