The Last Day at Work (audio story)

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audio stub

The Last Day at Work was a special free release in the Short Trips audio range from Big Finish Productions. It was the winning entry in The Paul Spragg Memorial Short Trip Opportunity.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

Constable Bernard Whittam is in for a special evening. Finally retiring from a lifetime in the police force, he's celebrating with friends, family and the woman he loves. It's all perfect. Apart from the noise in his head, the wheezing, groaning noise that has haunted his entire life. That and the unusual gatecrashers.

It's going to be a night to remember...


Oliver's Inn, Barnes Common, 1968. In the company of family and friends, Constable Bernard Whittam is celebrating his last day before retirement. But after thirty years on the force, Bernard is still haunted by a wheezing, groaning noise in his head. That night, Bernard wants to talk in private to one person - Emma Clarke. Before they can confess their feelings for each other, the Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon wander into the inn. As Jamie attempts to order drinks, Bernard loses his nerve. The Doctor, ever perceptive, gets to know Bernard by the bar. Over the course of their conversation, Bernard confides in the Doctor about the noise in his head. When Jamie reveals that he's been talking to Bernard's parents, somehow young and alive after all this time, the Doctor suddenly seems almost afraid. He invites Bernard to the "police box".

Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor gradually reveals, as kindly as he can, that Bernard is not real. He is the creation of the TARDIS' chameleon circuit, which originally disguised the ship as a police box when the Doctor came to Earth with his granddaughter in 1963. However, the circuit did not simply engineer a suitable shell for the TARDIS, but fabricated an entire policeman as part of its disguise - Bernard Whittham. Ever since the Doctor left Earth, Bernard, a part of the TARDIS, has slowly been affecting the real world, replacing it with the lie of his own life. His family and friends - even Emma - are, like him, not real.

Emma has followed them to the TARDIS. The Doctor allows her to come inside, as she and Bernard need to decide what to do. Lamenting the future that they will never share, but embracing their last day together, Bernard and Emma kiss and choose to stop the lie. Hand in hand, they walk away from the TARDIS, as the Doctor switches them off.






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