The One Doctor (audio story)

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The One Doctor was the twenty-seventh story in Big Finish's monthly range. It was written by Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush.

This audio was released in December 2001 and was considered Big Finish's "Christmas release". It has a notably comic slant to the story. It is the first of two early Christmas releases in the Main Range, the second being AUDIO: Bang-Bang-a-Boom!. Both stories feature Mel.

This story was also notable for Matt Lucas's Doctor Who debut; he later portrayed Twelfth Doctor companion Nardole.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

When the evil Skelloids launch an attack upon the seventeen worlds of the Generios system, its peace-loving inhabitants face total destruction.

So it's lucky that the Doctor, that famous traveller in time and space, is in the area, and that he, along with his pretty young assistant, Sally-Anne, manages to defeat the deadly creatures and save the day.

But now it looks as though the Doctor's luck has run out.

Who is the mysterious, curly-haired stranger, intent on causing trouble? What role does the feisty redhead Melanie play in his scheme? And what have they to do with the sinister alien cylinder approaching Generios?

One thing is certain: for the Doctor and Sally-Anne, there's deadly danger ahead...


Part one[[edit]]

The Doctor and Mel are playing monopoly. The TARDIS is off course due to the Doctor accidentally turning on the wide range distress transceiver, and the TARDIS therefore picking up and following a distress signal. They materialise to a party on Generios 1, the central planet of the Generios System at the centre of an intergalactic trade empire. The Doctor complains that he's always the one having to sort out people's problems. Stepping outside, they ask citizen Sokkery why they are all celebrating; he tells them that 'The Doctor', the mysterious, legendary Time Lord who travels the universe righting wrongs with his assistant, has banished the evil Skelloids. The Doctor is certain it wasn't his doing.

The 'Doctor' is talking to Councillor Potikol, who asks him to recount how he defeated the Skelloids. As the crowds outside chant for their saviour the 'Doctor', he explains how he realised that the Skelloids' lifecycles rely on the absorption of hydrogen, and so inverting the core of their hydrogen stabilisilers (with the help of his psychic screwdriver, and his companion, Sally-Anne) took care of them. The 'Doctor' and Sally-Anne say they must be off, but they want a reward- some Pluvon Power Crystals, to run their STARDIS. There are none left in the Generios Empire, so instead they ask for 100 million credits in cash to buy some. The councillor seems a little uncertain, and the 'Doctor' protests, but Sally-Anne talks him into taking the money.

The pair then cackle about their scam going so well- the 'Doctor' is actually Banto Zame, a con artist, as is Sally-Anne. Meanwhile, the crowd is banging on their doors, and they meet Sokkery again, who shows them a newspaper with the 'Doctor' on the front. The Doctor and Mel have a plan to get in to see them. The Councillor returns to tell Sally-Anne that the great computers that control their banks is being "influenced" by a piece of space debris that has drifted into their system. Banto and Sally-Anne flirt after the Councillor leaves to get a drudge to destroy the debris. Pretending to faint gets the Doctor and Mel taken inside to recuperate, and they slip off to find the fake Doctor. The space dredger has been destroyed.

The real Doctor and Mel find Banto and Sally-Anne, but the con artists accuse them of being other con-artists, running a similar con (pretending to be the Doctor, faking an alien invasion, 'stopping' the invasion, and ask for compensation). The Doctor orders them to stop, but then the Councillor bursts in, and Banto tells him that the real Doctor and Mel are overzealous fans. They are dragged away while the Doctor rants and raves. The Councillor tells Banto and Sally-Anne about the space debris that is still intact, and is heading straight for them. They need the Doctor's help.

The Doctor and Mel are locked in a well-furbished cell until the Councillor can decide what to do with them. The Doctor says he's a laughable footnote, as much a legend as Father Christmas, this far in the future. An sonic wave blasts across the planet from the debris, and the fake Doctor says he cannot stop it. The sound is a weapon, and the Doctor and Mel try to battle it by concentrating, but it appears to be destroying their minds.

Part two[[edit]]

The weapon stops, and although the pair are dizzy, the Doctor and Mel seem to be alright. The voice of the person who initiated the attack looks over the planet, telling them that he has been sent to collect tribute: the three greatest treasures of the Generios System. If they refuse, the planet will be destroyed. Clearly, the space "debris" is actually a ship, where this person is located. They have three hours. Potikol asks for the "Doctor's" help once more- he agrees, but as soon as Potikol leaves, Banto tells Sally-Anne that he thinks this ship is just the "curly haired man" (the real Doctor's) version of their Skelloid attack. In other words, it's the next stage in someone else's scam. They won't leave without their money.

The Doctor and Mel are throwing the food dispenser against the door to escape. They are now free, and head to the council chamber to find out more about the invader. On the way, they see the false Doctor's STARDIS, which looks like a portaloo. Potikol delivers the STARDIS and a list of the locations of the three great treasures to Banto, but warns them that not all the planets in the system will be welcoming. Then, the real Doctor and Mel burst into the council chamber. Banto dismisses the guards and Potikol leaves, and then the Doctor explains who he really is. After some argument, they're more or less able to convince the imposters of their authenticity when the spacecraft above destroys Generios 11 and shoots at Banto, Sally-Anne, Mel, and the Doctor to prove it's capabilities.

The Doctor and Mel fight with Banto and Sally-Anne, stealing their teleporter ("STARDIS") and materialising all together next to the real TARDIS. Finally, the fraudsters fully believe Mel and the Doctor they are the real deal. They decide to go after the tribute (the three treasures), heading for Generios 8 to find the first one: Unit ZX419. Upon arrival, Mel and Banto start exploring, and the Doctor goes with Sally-Anne. Mel tells Banto how she met the Doctor, and about Earth, and then they hear a noise that they go to investigate. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Sally-Anne arrive at a quarry on Generios 14, the home of Mentos, the second great treasure that is to be a tribute. They go to a ruin to see if Mentos is inside. A thunderstorm begins.

Mel and Banto arrive in a storage bay, finding that each item inside is a piece of furniture, labeled as "Unit", and then a short string of numbers and letters. Banto remembers something he read: that the furniture company who made these was killed by their own robots after they went berserk, meaning that this dead planet may still have berserk robots on. The Doctor and Sally-Anne reach the ruin, catching sight of two people who look like they're playing a game. Mel and Banto reach storage space ZX, but are confronted by murderous robots.

Part three[[edit]]

Banto panics as Mel reasons with the robots, explaining the situation. However, the robots seem devout to Unit ZX419, telling the humans that it is their greatest achievement. Nevertheless, they let the pair take Unit ZX419, but the robots laugh as if the unit will cause them trouble. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Sally-Anne listen to more of the quiz game happening in the ruins. It appears that the quizzers are standing on top of the computer, Mentos. The quiz show has been running for 33,000 years, and the quizzer is a projection- Mentos' interface.

Banto and Mel are presented with Unit ZX419: a box of wooden boards. They must put the boards- shelves- up before taking them, and are given 30 decons to construct the shelves. If they succeed, they can take the shelves, but if they fail, they will be "deconstructed" (killed). Locked into the storage space, the pair begin constructing the shelves by following complicated instructions that seem to be getting longer.

Meanwhile, the interface explains how Mentos exists in a shadow universe, gathering information on the main universe. Unless the Doctor can get a special code, the programmed Questioner will continue asking the interface questions forever. Sally-Anne tells the Doctor about her childhood, and then the Doctor realises that if he can put a question to Mentos that he can't answer, then the quiz will end, and Mentos will allow itself to be taken by the Doctor.

Mel and Banto realise that the shelf instructions repeat, with parts of the shelves appearing and disappearing in their reality. This means the shelves are can never be put up. Mel gives a rousing speech about a Christmas show from her childhood that her parents put on every year. Banto responds that where he comes from, people never believe in anything, and it was inspiring to see Mel believe so strongly in never giving up.

The Doctor poses his question: "what colour was the wallpaper in the back bedroom of no. 35 Jefferson Road, Woking, in June 1975?" The computer responds correctly. The Doctor is allowed only one more question, so he asks "What were my three wishes as I blew out the candles on my nine-hundredth birthday cake?". Mentos responds "Peace throughout the galaxy, Better control of the TARDIS, and more manageable hair". These are correct.

Sally-Anne then gives her 2 questions. "What did I tell Banto on the night he asked me to marry him just after we'd downed that third bottle of red?". Mentos answered correctly: she responded that she'd had mammory enhancement surgery. The second question is "What does Mentos not know?". Mentos overloads- they can take Mentos now. Mel realises that the robots have never seen the "Shelves of Infinity" put up, so won't know if they have completed the task. They tell the robots that they assembled the shelves, and then the TARDIS arrives, so the pair escape with the shelves in the TARDIS. The robots elect to erase the incident from their memories.

There are only 25 minutes left in the countdown. The final treasure is on Generios 15, a planet composed almost entirely of superheated gas. Banto and the Doctor insult each other almost until they arrive, where they find a massive diamond. The Doctor attempts to pick up the diamond, but "a horrible big jelly" attacks him, seeming to swallow him up.

Part four[[edit]]

The Doctor finds himself inside the jelly, but makes it vomit him out. The jelly speaks- it's a Jelloid, the guardian of the Jewel, placed there to guard it 30 million years ago. The Doctor explains why he needs the jewel, and the Jelloid lets them take it, but it's held down by a force field. The Jelloid is waiting for an entertainment system to be delivered, so the humans (and Doctor) agree to wait while the Jelloid goes to switch the forcefield off. Meanwhile, the Cylinder lowers itself towards Generios 1, announcing there are less than 15 minutes remaining. Sally-Anne and Banto argue and Banto reveals that he's already married.

The force shield is lowered, but they've missed the delivery, angering the Jelloid. Banto makes off with the diamond in the TARDIS. Mel was also inside. Banto professes his love to her, asking for her hand in marriage. The Doctor promises that as soon as the business with the Cylinder is sorted, he'll go and bring the Jelloid his entertainment system. The Jelloid tracks the TARDIS's trail, and they are able to teleport away. Meanwhile, the countdown is over. The TARDIS arrives as Mel rejects Banto's advances.

Potikol, Mel, and Banto present the treasures to the cylinder in a trolley; the Shelves of Infinity, Mentos, and- The Doctor arrives to present the diamond. The Cylinder deems the tribute satisfactory, and says he must reward the one who collected the treasures. Banto presents himself as the Doctor- the one who collected the treasures. Sally-Anne protests, introducing the real Doctor, but he says Sally-Anne is mad and he is Banto. He then kisses Sally-Anne, declaring that a "Time Lord would never do this" as proof that he isn't the Doctor.

The cylinder places Banto in a beam, paralysing him, declaring that the Doctor is wanted by his masters (the Sussyurats) for trial. The cylinder set trials it knew only the Doctor could complete. As the Doctor worked out, the cylinder was after him all this time. It leaves with Banto. Sally-Anne and Mel compare Banto's proposals to them- they were exactly the same. The Doctor tells Sally-Anne that the kiss was part of the bluff, but she is quickly cheered up by the thanks of the people of Generios 1, and the presents and money Potikol gives her. Mel and the Doctor leave, as the Doctor tells Mel he has no idea why the Sussyurats wanted him- he hasn't met them yet. They go off to do the favour for the Jelloid, and say they will rescue Banto... Eventually.

Much later, the Doctor thanks Mel for her Christmas nut roast, admits he's close in age to "the big 930". The Doctor made it snow in the TARDIS control room, and the pair have some sherry and try to watch the queen's speech on the time space visualiser. However, they accidentally end up watching Queen Elizabeth the first make a speech. Wishing each other a happy Christmas, the Doctor then wishes the same for "all of you back home". Meanwhile, the Questioner is asking Mentos more questions, with the pair joking about how dull all this is, and about The Weakest Link, and Mentos finally wishing a happy Christmas to "all of you back home".




The Doctor[[edit]]

  • The Cylinder calls the Doctor Johann Schmidt, Doktor von Wer, Ka Faraq Gatri, Theta Sigma and Snail.
  • The Doctor is at least 900 years old, with his three wishes when he blew out his nine-hundredth birthday cake candles being "Peace throughout the galaxy, Better control of the TARDIS, and more manageable hair".






Three Great Treasures of Generios[[edit]]

  • UNIT ZX419, also known as the Shelves of Infinity, are infinite and therefore impossible to put up. They took the robots nearly 50 million decons to produce.

Units of Measurement of Time[[edit]]

  • 5 Maleks is equivalent to 15 and a half Gluabs long, which is about three hours.
  • The robots of Generios 14 say that 50 million decons is equivalent to "60 of your-", but are interrupted before they can finish the comparison.
  • 30 Decons is half of "one pitiful human hour"


  • The quiz show The Feeblest Contestant has been going on for 33,000 years.



  • This is the first of Big Finish Productions' "Christmas releases" stories. They are a bit more light-hearted than other releases. The following year's Christmas release was Bang-Bang-a-Boom!, a story again parodying popular media-culture. In years following Bang-Bang-a-Boom!'s release, Big Finish offered subscriber only special releases, although those tended to cover all genres rather than the lighter-toned style that this story and Bang-Bang-a-Boom! use.
  • The title of this story is a reference towards the tendencies for Multi-Doctor stories to feature the number of Doctors in the story within the title (including such stories as The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors, The Eight Doctors, The Four Doctors, Four Doctors). In this case, the title jokingly hints that the extra Doctor included within the story will be revealed to be a fake, meaning that the Sixth Doctor is the one Doctor within the story.
  • The third episode features the alternative Delaware version of the Doctor Who theme tune, a nod to the overseas print of Carnival of Monsters.
  • This audio drama was recorded on 28 and 29 April 2001 at The Moat Studios.
  • The second CD contains a bonus track containing two scenes. In the first of these, the Doctor and Mel attempt to use the Time-Space Visualiser to watch The Queen's Speech, but accidentally tune in to Elizabeth I. In the second, the Questioner asks Mentos a number of questions from throughout time and space. Both scenes end with the characters wishing Merry Christmas "to all of you at home". (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) The bonus track was posted on Big Finish's official Soundcloud in December 2012, and included the Doctor breaking the fourth wall. [1]
  • Jim Mortimore and Jane Elphinstone's score to this story, alongside the score to Bloodtide and Project: Twilight, was released on the CD Music from the Sixth Doctor Audio Adventures.
  • This story is set between The Trial of a Time Lord and Time and the Rani.
  • This story was originally released on CD. It is now available as a download only.


External links[[edit]]