The Tides of the Moon (audio story)

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The Tides of the Moon was the second story in the audio anthology Water Worlds, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Joshua Pruett and featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush and Ruth Madeley as Hebe Harrison.

Publisher's summary[[edit]]

For Hebe's first trip in the TARDIS, the Doctor and Mel take her to the nearest available 'water world' – the Moon, two billion years in the past! Its advanced humanoid inhabitants, the Gilleans, are terrorised each night by their monstrous enemies, the Sheega. Even more worrying is that in a matter of hours, this ocean world will be laid waste by the gravitational interference of the blue-green planet next door...


Part one[[edit]]

The Clutch Father visits one of his scientific advisors, Helias, and ignores his worries about the tides. He leaves when an alert is raised by the blowing of a foghorn, telling Helias to hide alone and to fear the Sheega.

After Hebe has finished exploring the TARDIS, the Doctor sets the ship to take them to a water world he wishes to show her. They are knocked off-course by a gravitational anomaly and land near a seaside city on the Moon circa 2,000,000,000 BC, unable to leave without risking further damage to the TARDIS engine so long as gravity is still fluctuating. Hebe determines that the area is not usually above water; when the foghorn sounds, alerting them to dangerous creatures in the rising water, they are unable to get back to the TARDIS and Hebe has to save Mel from drowning.

Mel and Hebe meet Wulk, who brings them Hebe's wheelchair which was thought lost in the waves. Hebe touches his gills and realises that she is a hypocrite for doing so given how much she dislikes people touching her wheelchair, so apologises at Mel's suggestion. They go into the city and the horn sounds again, warning of the Sheega. Wulk enters into a trance and Mel and Hebe follow him, but have to hide from the Sheega, which look like teeth on two legs.

The Doctor washes up on the rocks and is taken by Helias to her observatory in a nearby lighthouse. Upon learning of his knowledge of astronomy, she has him look through her aeroscope at Earth, which is far too close to the Moon and has been causing rising tides and earthquakes. When the horn sounds, Helias locks the Doctor in a cupboard for his own safety, but he manages to get out using the rings of a model of Saturn. He finds a Sheega tooth and is arrested by the guards.

In the morning, Wulk finds Mel and Hebe and tries to warn them of the guards. He is too late, however, and they are taken to the Clutch Father to receive his judgement. The Doctor is arguing with the Clutch Father and the three travellers are condemned to death.

Part two[[edit]]

Helias pleads the Doctor's case to the Clutch Father, but he is insistent that the travellers are sacrificed to the Sheega. They are chained up and left for the Sheega, with the Gilleans entering the same trance that Wulk did and leaving, but the Doctor is able to get the three of them free by playing fetch with the Sheega and getting them to bite through the ring holding their chains. In the empty city, Hebe finds a scared Sheega and the Doctor feeds his coat to the leader, which proceeds to sniff them before departing.

Hebe notices that the walls of the city are made of breathing Sheega skin. The Doctor confronts the Clutch Father about the supposed war with the Sheega, pointing out that there are no Sheega victims. When the Clutch Father starts coughing, the Doctor uses Venusian aikido to make him cough up part of his coat, proving his theory. Helias understands and announces to the Gilleans that they are the Sheega, affected by the gravity of Earth. Night falls and everybody changes again as the water rises; Wulk fights the Clutch Father to save his friends and takes him away.

Helias helps the Doctor realise that the city is a spaceship. They will the city to transform, angering the Clutch Father until the Doctor is able to convince him to stop getting in his own way and help his people. The ship takes off and leaves the Moon, whose seas are disappearing. After Mel and Hebe give Wulk a quick tour of the TARDIS and the Doctor says goodbye to Helias, they depart.






External links[[edit]]