The Doctor smiled as he reached to switch on the viewscreen.

“Susan,” he said, reaching out his hand to her. “Come and look at this.” She crossed the floor from where she sat on the sofa and came to his side. He pointed at the viewscreen. She stared, open mouthed, at the planet the TARDIS was currently orbiting.

It looked like a coffee and cream coloured marble. Strata or layers, or stripes, she wasn’t sure what she should call them, bled their colours into each other. A moon that was tiny by comparison looked, she thought, like a malteser, and as their orbit brought them around the planet to the daylight side she looked at a sun that burned a deeper yellow-orange than the Earth one.

“It’s… oh….” She looked at The Doctor who grinned back at her. “Oh, it IS real, isn’t it? It’s not just a video or something. We really ARE there?”

“We’re there,” he told her. “And no, I’m afraid it's not made of chocolate. Doesn’t half make you hungry for it, though, looking at it from this angle. I thought you’d appreciate the view. Your first new planet.”

“That was sweet of you, Doctor,” Susan told him. “Thanks.” She squeezed his hand. “Thank you, so much. For… everything.”

“Everything?” He laughed. “We’ve not DONE anything yet. Tell you what, how about you bring us in?”

“I… what….” She looked at him in astonishment as he stood back from the console and waved to her to take the control. “I can’t do that.”

“It’s ok, you’re not going solo. I’ve already programmed in the co-ordinate. But just take that handle. And do what I say, and enjoy the ride.”

He had done more than programme the co-ordinate, in fact. He had pre-programmed the whole landing. All it actually needed was for her to turn the handle and it initiated the fly-by-wire landing. But he knew she would get a kick out of having her hand on the controls as the TARDIS began to descend through the atmosphere towards the planet.

“Oooh!” she cried. “Oh… are we going too fast?”

“Just a little,” he said. “Slide the switch to the right of your left hand. Move it two notches down, not too fast, just glide it down.” In fact, the deceleration was also programmed. If it wasn’t, though, that was exactly what she would have to do to slow the TARDIS down enough so that they didn’t plough straight into the surface of the planet and keep on going till it reached the molten core.

Or maybe just landed with a bit more of a bump than usual.

Slowly, but not as slow as Susan thought it should have been, the planet’s surface came closer. She saw what looked like a very futuristic city covering several miles of the surface directly below them. It seemed to have a lot of tubes running around it like the biggest water slide in the universe or something. But she didn’t have much time to admire the view. She followed The Doctor’s instructions, pushing this lever, sliding that slide, as the descent gradually slowed and the TARDIS landed with only the slightest of bumps.

“Well done,” The Doctor said. “Perfect landing.”

“Are we’re where we should be, then?” she asked.

“We’re at the exact co-ordinate that was on the ticket,” he told her. “Hang on. You can hold it.” He looked in the pockets of his trousers, jacket and finally his big tan coat before he found what he was looking for. He handed her a big ticket made of gold-coloured foil that immediately put her in mind of the golden tickets from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory – as if landing on a planet that looked like a big ball of chocolate wasn’t enough of a cultural reference.

“B’Tallia Vance Cordially Invites The Doctor Plus One To a Special Preview of WonderPlanet, the Exciting New Edutainment Complex That The Whole Universe Is Talking About.”

“Ugghh, I hate that expression! ‘Plus One’. It’s so impersonal, isn’t it?” He took the ticket back from her and seemed to stare at it intently. When he returned it to her it now read ‘The Doctor and Susan.’


“Psychic invitations. Very handy. Automatically updates the guest list at the door. So, what do you think? Shall we join the special preview?”

“Can you do something about all those capital letters?” Susan asked. “My English teacher used to go mad if people wrote like that in anything but the essay heading. And is Edutainment REALLY a word?”

“Sadly, yes,” The Doctor answered. “But then where would we all be without Sesame Street?”

“We’d be able to recite the alphabet without getting an annoying song stuck in our heads for hours,” Susan retorted.

The Doctor laughed and congratulated himself. Susan was going to prove to be a GREAT travelling companion. She thought like he did.

“Ok, we’ve got a free invite to a theme park,” The Doctor said. “I have no idea WHY we have it. It just turned up in my coat pocket with the co-ordinates for getting here.”

“Well,” Susan answered him with a smile. “Never look a gift horse in the mouth, as they say.”

“Did you ever wonder WHY they say that,” The Doctor added as he slipped his coat on and passed hers to her.

“No idea,” she answered. “But I get the feeling you might be about to tell me.”

The Doctor smiled at her as he opened the door. Yes, she thought JUST like him.

“It’s not that interesting really,” he said as they stepped out into what appeared to be a hangar bay for visitors to the WonderPark who would, presumably, arrive by shuttles and landing craft of various types. The TARDIS, he noted, was the only vehicle parked there today. “It just means that it’s bad manners to question a present when it’s given to you. Although, personally, I can’t help thinking about ‘no such thing as a free ride.’”

“I’m thinking of Jurassic Park,” Susan said as she looked up at a huge illuminated sign reading ‘Welcome to WonderPark.’ “Are we here to make sure there’s nothing that can eat the guests before they open it to the public?”

“Could be,” The Doctor said. “B’Tallia Vance is a very strange character. Multi-trillion-billion-millionaire eccentric. Nobody’s seen him for about thirty years but his company keeps on buying economically unviable planets and turning them into booming businesses. This must be his latest project.” He looked up at the sign, too. He smiled. It operated using a similar kind of psychic projection as the TARDIS itself – feeding off the individual’s brain patterns and translating into their native language. Susan saw “Welcome to WonderPark” in English. He saw it in the beautiful, swirling hieroglyphs of High Gallifreyan which as well as bringing a sentimental lump to his throat, did him the favour of removing the unnecessary capital ‘P’ from ‘WonderPark’. He was in full agreement with Susan’s former English teacher about that.

He was just wondering where they went next when a series of arrows lit up, pointing them to something that looked like a car from a roller coaster ride, except that it was suspended above three inches of air on an anti-gravity strip running along the floor. The strip continued towards a dark tunnel just big enough for the car to pass along.

There was one long seat. It was one of those where the tallest person sat at the back and got squashed by all the shorter people in front. The Doctor grimaced and stepped in first before helping Susan sit in front of him. She gave a slight gasp of surprise as an anti-gravity cushion pressed her gently back against him, serving as a safety belt.

“Cosy,” he said as he slipped his hands around her waist. It was about the only place he could think of to put them. She put her hands over his as another sign illuminated itself above the tunnel entrance. It seemed to be counting down from 10, in English for her, and in Gallifreyan for him. “I think we’re ready to go,” he added. “Do you LIKE roller coasters?”

“Usually, YES,” she answered. “What about you?”

“I hate HEIGHTS,” he said. “But I LOVE roller coasters.” The countdown reached zero and the car began to move. As he might have expected, they began to climb once inside the dark tunnel. The Doctor felt Susan’s bodyweight pressing against him as the angle steepened and they slowly reached the sort of height that would have made Earth roller coaster fans weep for joy.

He felt a moment of panic. After all, the invitation WAS a bit mysterious. He really wasn’t sure what he had got himself and Susan into.

He thought of all the people in the universe who had a reason to kill him, and wondered if any of them were mad enough to try death by white knuckle ride.

Too late now, he thought as the car levelled out momentarily and then began to descend. His own and Susan’s screams of terror mixed with excitement echoed along the tunnel as they flew along it at a speed he probably could have calculated if he was not too busy screaming.

Their stomachs churned excitedly as the car levelled again and then went up the next incline under the momentum of the first drop. Halfway up they emerged from the dark into bright sunshine and when their eyes adjusted they were both amazed to see that they were racing along inside what looked like a glass tube suspended high above the WonderPark below.

They caught brief glimpses of buildings and green places and water as they descended rapidly again into another dark tunnel. This time they descended for a very long time and when they again saw light ahead it was a greenish, diffused light and they emerged into an underwater world. Exotic marine life flashed by too fast to really get a good look at it before they climbed again into darkness.

“This is COOL!” Susan said as they wondered what was going to happen next.

“Yeah,” The Doctor agreed. His fears seemed to be unfounded. It looked like it WAS just a fun ride, after all. He relaxed a little and enjoyed himself. It wasn’t often, after all, that he got to DO either of those things.

The makers of Earth’s biggest roller coasters would be weeping before the journey was even halfway done. It went on for miles of undulating tubes, sometimes out in the open, sometimes in darkness, sometimes in that green underwater world. There was one rather annoying bit with flashing disco lights that they were both glad to get through. Then for a very long stretch they seemed to be travelling down through rock strata and The Doctor started to wonder about that molten core of the planet again. But they climbed again and shortly after they came to the end of the ride.

“Wow!” Susan said as the anti-grav cushion released her and she scrambled out of the car.

“Wow is the word,” The Doctor agreed as he stood up, brushing himself down and looking around. Again arrows pointed their way along a corridor. He reached and took Susan’s hand. They followed the arrows until they reached an archway and a sign that flashed up with “Present your VIP Guest ticket here.”

“Present it to who?” Susan asked. “Or what?”

“I’m not sure,” The Doctor said looking around. “But I’m sure somebody will be along presently. Maybe even Vance himself.”

There was a whirring noise that disturbed the quiet of the corridor.

“What on Earth is that?” Susan shrieked as what she took to be a large computer server or a radiator, or something, suddenly moved towards them. A red beam of light emitted from an ‘eye’ in the front of the metal unit.

“Present your ticket,” a metallic, synthesised voice said. Susan looked at The Doctor who nodded to her. She stepped closer and held up the ticket. It scanned it and then scanned them both.

“One Human female, one….” The metallic, synthesized voice paused and Susan could swear she heard its hard drives whirring. “One mythical creature.”

“What do you mean, mythical,” The Doctor replied.

“Database identifies you as Time Lord. But Time Lords do not exist. You are mythical. You are identified as the guests named on the Ticket. The mythical creature known as The Doctor and the Human known as Susan.”

“I’ll show you who’s mythical,” he said. “So what are YOU then? And are you by any chance related to my old pal K-9?”

There was something about the robot that put him in mind of K-9. The voice, the way it moved. But K-9 had more style. He was a dog shape, for a start. Not a radiator on hoverpads.

“I am a design of Professor Marius,” the robot answered.

“Marius!” The Doctor exclaimed excitedly. “Yes, he created K-9. A genius with electronics. So are you an upgrade or a prototype or what?”

“I am a Robotic-Individual-Companion,” it answered.

“Ric!” The Doctor laughed. “Ok, and what do you do?”

“I am your tour guide,” Ric answered.

“Cool,” Susan said. She had just about kept up with the conversation between The Doctor and the ‘radiator’. Later she would have to ask him exactly what a K-9 was and why The Doctor was so excited. But a robot that looked like a radiator that was called Ric definitely sounded cool to her.

“Come with me,” Ric told them. “We will begin the tour of WonderPark.”

“What IS WonderPark?” The Doctor asked them. “Apart from the roller coaster, which, I have to say, is TERRIFIC. But has Mr Vance thought about wheelchair access, or people with weak hearts? They’ll have to have a quieter way in than that.”

“WonderPark is an exciting new venture in Edutainment which brings the greatest architecture and natural phenomena of the twelve galaxies together in one beautifully landscaped park for the enjoyment of the visitor,” Ric answered. The Doctor almost expected him to have a cue card to read from. That was SUCH an obviously prepared piece of spiel.

“Ok,” he said. “Lead the way.”

“Transport awaits,” Ric said as the corridor widened out into what could only be described as a landing stage beside an indoor river. A rather attractive boat in the style of an Arabian Dhow lay at anchor there.

“Very pretty,” The Doctor said as he watched Ric elevate himself into the boat. He and Susan followed, settling themselves on the seats. “Good elevation, by the way, Ric. You MUST be an upgrade. Poor old K-9 always had to be lifted over obstacles.”

There was no crew. It looked like a sailing dhow, but that seemed to be just for show. The boat began to move, apparently of its own volition, at a gentle pace. Susan leaned back on the seat happily. Opposite her The Doctor stretched his legs. This wasn’t so bad, really, though he kept on wondering when something sinister was going to happen.

“What does ‘Transporter Portal’ mean?” Susan asked. She was facing forward, looking where they were going. The Doctor turned and looked. The river was heading through an archway with those words illuminated above it. The air within the archway shimmered.

“It’s a transporter portal,” he replied. “Does what it says on the tin. You might feel a bit of ear-popping, like taking-off on a plane. But otherwise it’s perfectly ok.”

“Perfectly ok?” Susan gasped for breath as they emerged from the portal into the fresh air and bright sunlight. “What happened? How did we get here?”

“Transporter,” The Doctor said. He sighed. “Like Star Trek. You know. Your body gets disassembled and re-assembled in another place.”

“Oh my God!” She shrieked. “You mean we just….”

“As those things go, it wasn’t bad,” The Doctor said. “Some transmat/transporter technology is just nauseating. Even I’ve been knocked out for hours by them sometimes. But that was ok. And at least they had a sign. It's very rude to disassemble people without warning them first.”

“No kidding!” Susan looked around her. The boat was sailing gently between two banks in the open air. On the banks was some very impressive architecture. The Doctor looked at it in amazement.

“We are now passing through Wonder-Zone One,” Ric announced. “Architecture and natural phenomena of the Beta-Zed planets. On your right, is the Great Glass Tower of Beta-Zed, the creation of Malo Brij, the greatest architect in the Beta quadrant. Note the friezes between every 100th floor.”

“Wow,” Susan said appreciatively as she looked at the hexagonal shaped skyscraper made of what looked like white-opaque crystal. “That must be 1,000 floors.”

“1,200,” The Doctor promptly informed her. “I once attended an Inter-Species Treaty debate in the conference room on the top floor. It is an unnerving experience looking DOWN on clouds.”

And yet, he thought, as he looked at what he assumed was a faithful copy, he could see that 1,200th floor and see it in close detail. In fact, with his eyesight he could do that anyway, but there was something about WonderPark that extended that Time Lord gift to everyone. He showed Susan how to focus her eyes and she gasped as she looked at the friezes beneath the windows depicting mythological creatures of Beta-Zed.

“No binoculars or other visual aids needed in WonderPark,” Ric explained. “Simply look at the feature you are interested in and you will see it in close up.”

“Clever,” The Doctor said. “Very EDUtainment. Still a horrible word, but this isn’t a bad use of it.”

The boat slowly passed the Tower and they viewed the Beta-Zed volcano, the Lutanium Dome of Beta-Zed III’s Great Temple, the triple-peaked mountain of Goll, and the Numian Sand Eddy, a permanent whirlpool in the desert, constantly sucking down and spinning the sand around, along with anything and anyone daft enough to get too close.

“There’s another of those portals coming up,” Susan observed. “What next?”

“Wonder-Zone Two features the famous sites of Fallapatorius,” Ric answered just before they passed through the portal.

“What, Raxacorico- The Doctor began to exclaim and on the other side of the portal completed the word. “-Fallapatorius!”

“You know this place?” Susan asked as she stared at a sixty foot statue of possibly the most repulsive looking creature she had ever seen in her life, but paradoxically, with the most compelling and sweet looking eyes. “Tell me the indigenous population aren’t REALLY that big.”

“No, only seven or eight feet tall, usually. That’s a monument to one of their great politicians, Maximal Geur-Pin Noz-Calla De Freanan.”

“What’s he great for?” Susan asked.

“Outlawing cannibalism on the Raxacoricofallapatorian home planet,” The Doctor replied.

“Ok.” Susan decided not to ask any more questions. The Doctor decided not to answer any more for now. He looked at the sites with interest, though. As much as he disliked the species from that long-winded planet, he had always admitted that it was a beautiful place, and leisurely viewing its finer features without having to meet any of the indigenous population had something to commend it.

They passed through several more interesting Zones and Ric gave the standard commentary about them while The Doctor filled in with amusing, terrifying or just plain fascinating anecdotes.

“I can’t believe you have actually BEEN to all these places for real,” Susan told him. “It would take a LIFETIME.”

“Several lifetimes,” The Doctor agreed. “Vance might actually be onto a winner here. Being able to see replicas of great sites and wonders of the universe in a single day’s outing – the kids will love it.”

“How much will he be charging?” Susan pointed out. “I hope they do a group rate for schools.”

“Entry to WonderPark is 300 credits per person, concessions for elderly, children, disabled, and species with less than three limbs or more than one head,” Ric answered dutifully.

“Three hundred credits is a bit more than even I used to get for pocket money,” The Doctor said. “But it’s not bad for a once in a lifetime experience.”

The next zone was a little harder for him to view dispassionately. He swallowed a lump in his throat as Ric announced they were now visiting Kasterborus-Wonder-Zone.

“Where’s that?” Susan asked as she noticed that the sky seemed to have been tinted slightly yellow and that the sun here had a reddish tinge.

“Two hundred and fifty million light years from Earth,” The Doctor said. “As the space-bat flies. It’s… It WAS my home.” He looked around slowly at the replica of the Citadel of The High Council from Gallifrey’s Capitol, at the Dark Tower, home to the Tomb of Rassilon, at the Library of Flavia, at Rassilon’s Obelisk.

“That looks like a giant Toblerone,” Susan said of the monument to the legendary Creator of the Time Lord people. The Doctor laughed and agreed. Only somebody from Earth would have made that cultural connection and only a non-Gallifreyan would have dared to be disrespectful to any relic of Rassilon.

“Nice mountain,” Susan continued and The Doctor really had to keep his emotions in check as he told her it was Mount Lœng, the mountain near his own birthplace in southern Gallifrey. The special vision effects allowed him to show her close up the waterfall that fell sheer down almost half of one side of the mountain, and the monastery perched by a precipitous drop almost at the peak.

“Wonderful people, the monks there,” The Doctor said with a catch in his voice. “Taught me one of my most valuable lessons….”

“Which was….” Susan prompted him.

“Patience,” he replied. “Mind you, I still hate to be kept waiting. But they did succeed in teaching me to sit still and fully appreciate slow but beautiful events like a caterpillar turning to a pupae and then to a butterfly or a single blade of grass growing from a seed.” He sighed as he cast his mind back to the simpler days of his youth. A long time ago.

“Wow!” Susan cried as they passed through the next portal. “This must be Earth-Zone.”

“Correct,” Ric said in his metallic voice. “One of the largest collections in WonderPark. Earth, a small, relatively insignificant planet in the galaxy known as the Milky Way, was the source of some of B’Tallia Vance’s proudest acquisitions. “On your right, you will see Mount Rushmore, Niagra Falls, The Empire State Building, Ayres Rock and The Eiffel Tower.”

Susan’s mind was approaching culture overflow as she stared at two of the tallest man-made structures on her planet flanking one of its most famous mountains. She listened as Ric told her that the mountain was three hundred and forty metres high, the tower a mere three hundred and twenty metres, but the Empire State Building three hundred and eighty metres and she looked at how the building was head and shoulders above the mountain.

“But it doesn’t look right putting two buildings next to something NATURAL,” she complained.

“I agree,” The Doctor agreed. “I’d re-arrange things a bit. “Although, THAT’s very nice!” He looked up as the boat passed under the Golden Gate Bridge, followed closely by Tower Bridge, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Forth Rail Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the lovely Sio-Seh Pole Bridge of Iran, and for some strange reason the concourse of Newport Pagnell Motorway Service Station.

“THAT’s a wonder of Earth?” Susan laughed.

“I wonder why Vance thought that was a Wonder,” The Doctor mused. “Mind you, it’s had its moments. I remember U.N.I.T. trapping a couple of Autons on the concourse. Look. You can still see where they had to repair the big hole they blew in the middle of it. Typical U.N.I.T. Give them a big gun and a thought-controlled plastic dummy to aim at.”

“Isn’t this a replica?” Susan asked. “They actually have the detail of a REPAIR in it?”

“Very GOOD replicas,” The Doctor said as they passed the Cardiff Millennium Stadium and the original Wembley. “Oh, and isn’t THAT beautiful.”

Susan had to agree as they passed on both sides the great architectural wonders of Egypt. The Great Pyramids and the Sphinx on the right, and on the left the Temples of Karnak and Abu Simbel.

“I’ve seen those in films,” Susan said. “But they look fantastic in reality. Or… I keep on forgetting. They’re not real, are they? They’re just replicas.”

“Negative,” Ric said. “They are all originals.”

“What?” The Doctor looked at Ric, then back at the two Abu Simbel temples. “What do you mean they’re the originals?”

“The antiquities and monuments were all purchased by Vance Enterprises and transported to WonderPark for the Edutainment of an estimated 25 billion visitors per lunar year.”

“Purchased?” The Doctor yelled angrily. “Nobody PURCHASED Mount Lœng. That belonged to my family. And they’re all DEAD. As for THAT….” He stood up in the boat as they sailed past the Egyptian section and he stared at Stonehenge perched on top of the Grand Canyon, while on the other side of the river the Statue of Liberty was parked in front of Mount Everest.

Susan gave a gasp of amazement as The Doctor suddenly jumped out of the boat. She didn’t know how deep the water was, but it didn’t matter. He moved so fast his feet just skimmed the surface. She was sure as he reached the bank that his white canvas shoes were only slightly wet.

“Stop the boat,” she yelled as she saw another Transporter Portal ahead. “He’ll be left behind.”

“Transport is automatic,” Ric answered. “No unauthorised stop is possible.”

“Stop,” she cried. But it was too late. They were already heading towards the arch.

The Doctor hadn’t noticed. He was running towards the base of the Statue of Liberty. He looked at the bronze dedication plaque and smiled wryly at that often quoted inscription.

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

When he had helped them cement it in place on that sunny day in July, 1886, he had little known that he, himself, would be “homeless and tempest-tost.”

But now, Liberty seemed to be a lost soul, too. He held up his sonic screwdriver and took a reading that confirmed this WAS the genuine article, the real Statue of Liberty.

What was she doing HERE? What WAS Going on? What were ANY of these monuments and mountains and waterfalls doing here?

He looked around. The boat had gone on through the next portal. If he was going to follow it he was going to have to get his feet wet.

Or maybe not. He adjusted the sonic screwdriver again and aimed it at what seemed to be thin air. Maintenance portal! He stepped forward and felt his ears pop as he was transported.

“Doctor!” Susan flew at him as he steadied himself from what WAS a slightly nauseating few moments. Maintenance portals, designed for use by servo robots didn’t have the same inertial dampeners as those intended for organic lifeforms.

“I’m all right,” he said. “What about you?”

“I’m fine, she answered. “But Doctor…. Look.”

He looked. This was, apparently, the end of the boat ride. Susan had been waiting on the landing stage for him to arrive before going on through the next doorway.

He looked at the next doorway. He saw the words “Doctor Zone” in Gallifreyan.

And as he approached, Susan holding his hand and Ric hovering along by his side, he saw a familiar shape on the other side of the door. The blue light illuminated a patch of the darkness and the word ‘Police Public Call Box’ shone out like a beacon.

“My TARDIS!” he cried. “How did it get here?”

“I think it’s part of the exhibition,” Susan whispered.

“Correct,” Ric said. “This is the latest acquisition of Vance Enterprises, the key feature of the ‘Doctor Zone’.”

“Like HELL it is,” The Doctor replied. “Where is B’Tallia Vance? Get him down here right now. It’s time we had a SERIOUS talk.”

“Doctor, IS that the real TARDIS?” Susan asked.

“Oh yes,” The Doctor answered her. “The real TARDIS. The real Statue of Liberty, the real Pyramids of Giza, the real Glass Tower of Beta-Zed. And I don’t believe for one MOMENT that Vance Enterprises have BOUGHT any of them. Because I KNOW they didn’t buy my TARDIS. Like everything else we’ve seen it is unique and it is beyond price. But unlike everything else we’ve seen, the TARDIS is MINE.”

“Not any more,” a voice said as the body that went with it materialised between them and the TARDIS door. “I have acquired it.”

“Stolen,” The Doctor retorted. “Who ARE you?” He looked at the woman. He had seen a great deal of the universe and was familiar with many species and so he was fairly confident that this WAS a woman. In a universe of infinite variety a six-foot five woman was not impossible. Not even one in a figure hugging red satin dress which left NOTHING to the imagination, especially around the low cut top which he was studiously avoiding looking at.

“I am your host, B’Tallia Vance,” she replied.

“Er… B’Tallia Vance is a man? Isn’t he?”

“I WAS,” she said. “I had a little operation.”

Ah!” The Doctor said. “Ok. Enough said.”

“I did it for you,” she added. “I did my research. And apart from a brief fling with that young pilot chap from 1941, the evidence suggests that your preference is for female humanoids.”

“I did NOT have a ‘fling’ with Jack Harkness, and his briefs are his business,” The Doctor protested. “As for my preferences what do they have to do with…”

“She fancies you, Doctor,” Susan told him. “She has the hots for you. HE had the hots for you and decided to become FEMALE in order to have a chance.”

“What?” The Doctor looked from Susan to B’Tallia. “Are you kidding me?”

“I never ‘kid’ about love,” B’Tallia answered him. “I adore you, Doctor. You have enthralled me for many years.”

“Well, you’re too late,” he said. “I’m a married man. And even if I wasn’t, a gender-bending pirate would not be my idea of a date. So whatever designs you have on my body, forget it.”

“Don’t make this difficult, Doctor,” B’Tallia sighed. “Don’t make me have to keep you here by force.” She raised her arm and he saw she had something in her hand that looked like a very basic and primitive sonic screwdriver. It opened invisible service portals all around the ‘Doctor Zone’. He span on his rubber heels as he saw servo robots with very deadly looking pincers for hands. “Take The Doctor alive. The girl, I don’t need.”

“Yes you do,” he answered. “You can’t have The Doctor without his companion. Especially when she’s a Susan.”

But he had no intention of being taken alive. His own sonic screwdriver had identified one portal that wasn’t being blocked by a slowly encroaching servo robot. He grabbed Susan by the arm and ran for it.

“Good gracious!” a voice said as they emerged into a room that had quite a lot in common with the TARDIS console room except that it lacked any kind of individual character. He turned as he heard a noise behind him. Ric had followed them through the portal. As soon as the little robot was clear he aimed the sonic screwdriver at the patch of air. A deadlock seal with a 24 character unlock code bought them a few minutes respite.

There was no physical door to this room. It was round, with a domed roof and walls that were smooth and white. There was no obvious way out. He took all of that in before he looked at the man who was standing by the console that took up so much of the floor space.

“Professor Marius!” he exclaimed. “I should have known. Ric said you were his creator. So he IS an upgrade on old K9?”

“You’re The Doctor,” Marius said, a statement of fact without any enthusiasm. “I would say I am glad to see you again, old man. But ‘old man’ would seem to be a contradiction looking at you now, and there isn’t much cause for gladness. She has you a prisoner, too?”

“Not for long,” The Doctor answered. “Nobody keeps me a prisoner for long.”

“B’Tallia does,” Marius told him, glumly. “I’ve been here five years. Hardly left this room, not even to sleep.” He nodded towards an unmade bed in the corner of the room and a screen that concealed some kind of rudimentary bathroom facility.

“This is the control room?” The Doctor asked, examining the console. He looked at a screen that showed Liberty Island with a big hole in the ground where the statue should have been and some very puzzled people examining it. Another showed the Parthenon in Athens, still intact, but there was a strange glow around it, like bad chroma-key from the early days of television special effects. Clearly that was going to be the next addition to B’Tallia’s collection.

“That can stop, for a start,” The Doctor said, cancelling the teleportation. “This is AMAZING, you know. The POWER it would take to teleport a building like that through time and space. Even my TARDIS would be straining itself.”

“It’s my fault,” Marius sighed. “I was researching the technology. B’Tallia Vance approached me, promising money to finance my work. Invited me here. And made me a PRISONER doing his bidding… her bidding.”

“So if you did it, you should be able to undo it?” Susan asked him.

“Yes,” he said. “I could. But Vance would kill me.”

“You leave Vance to me,” The Doctor said. “Start putting the monuments back. Susan, you help him. Ric… You’re Professor Marius’s creation, right?”

“Correct,” Ric said.

“So I can trust you?”

“I serve my Master,” Ric said. And The Doctor thought that was so very much like K9’s logic.

“Ric,” Marius said. “Until he says otherwise, The Doctor is your Master. Do as he tells you. Do you understand?”

“Understand, Affirmative.” Ric turned to The Doctor. “Master… your instructions…”

“Come here for a start,” The Doctor said. Ric came to him dutifully. He knelt beside him and pulled his side panel off and looked carefully at his inner workings. He used the sonic screwdriver to alter some of his settings before closing the panel again.

“What have you done to him?” Susan asked as she helped Marius put the Statue of Liberty back where it belonged and moved on to the Taj Mahal.

“Beefed up his laser. Instead of scanning it can now do some serious damage to the servo-robots.”

“You’ve made him into a weapon?” Marius was appalled. “I made him as a companion, non-violent.”

“Yeah,” The Doctor said. “Pacifism is a fine thing. But sometimes a mechanical lifeform has to do what a mechanical lifeform has to do. Ric, we’re going back through there. I need my TARDIS. I need you to take out the servo robots so that I can reach it. Do you understand?”

“Affirmative, Master,” Ric said. The Doctor looked at him and smiled.

“Good boy!” he said. He adjusted the sonic screwdriver and got ready to open the portal. Ric placed himself in front of The Doctor and moved through the portal first.

By the time The Doctor reached the other side Ric had taken out two of the servo robots and was in the process of zapping another. B’Tallia Vance looked as if she had been trying to use one of them to break into the TARDIS. The pincer arm was hammering against what appeared to be an ordinary wooden door. But it hadn’t even scratched the paint. Of course it hadn’t.

Good old TARDIS, The Doctor thought proudly. Good old Ric, he added as he hit the servo robot with a laser beam that blew its central processor to pieces. Meanwhile he got hold of B’Tallia Vance in a none too gentle armlock.

“I’m usually much nicer to women,” he said. “But seeing as you used to be a man and you tried to kidnap me, I see no reason why I should be.” He adjusted his grip on her and reached with one hand to open the TARDIS door before pushing her inside.

“You wanted to get in here,” he said as he pushed her towards the console. “Well, here you are. What do you think?”

“It's… better than I imagined. I have read about you, followed your life story, Doctor. I did all of this out of LOVE for you.”

“You did it because you are a lunatic,” The Doctor replied. “And I don’t appreciate being the focus of your lunacy. You need to book yourself a few sessions with a good psycho-analyst and get over me. But I’m more concerned about the damage you’ve been doing to the national monuments of the universe.” He turned to Ric. “I know you’re a good robot unit, and you don’t kill. But keep your laser eye on her for me while I programme the TARDIS. If she moves a muscle shoot to wound – blow one of her fingers off or something.”

“Yes, master,” Ric said obediently. B’Tallia Vance edged up against the console as he moved threateningly in front of her. The Doctor closed the TARDIS door and programmed it to lock in on Susan and Professor Marius in the control room.

Susan rushed into the TARDIS as soon as he opened the door again. Professor Marius followed her at a more dignified pace. “Doctor, we’ve nearly done it. Everything is back in their proper places except…” She paused and looked at him. “The ones from your planet. We can’t get a lock on the location…”

The Doctor seemed very distracted for a moment. Susan thought he looked very sad.

“I’ll come and deal with those,” he said. “Ric, keep watching her.”

He stepped out of the TARDIS and went to Marius’s control panel. He looked at the monitor showing the Gallifreyan monuments still in the WonderPark and the rejected co-ordinate. He typed in another co-ordinate. One that he knew by heart although he would never programme it into the TARDIS navigation console. He hesitated a moment, tears pricking his eyes, before he sent the Citadel and the Dark Tower, Rassilon’s Obelisk, and Mount Lœng into the black hole where the rest of his planet had been lost when the sun went supernova. That was the right and proper place for them.

When that was done he turned and went back into the TARDIS. He looked at Marius.

“We’ll give you a lift home in a minute, professor. First, I want to show Vance something.” He beckoned to her and she edged around the console as Ric kept his red eyelight fixed on her. The Doctor typed rapidly on a keyboard and figures came up on the monitor beside it. “Do you know what these are?” he asked Vance.

“They’re the stock market prices for my company,” she said. “What are you….”

“If I press THIS button,” The Doctor said. “I can send your prices plummeting. You will be bankrupt. I don’t want to do that, because a lot of other people would suffer - billions of people who work for subsidiaries of Vance Enterprises. But if you try anything like THIS ever again I will do it. I’ll hit you where it hurts you the most. And I CAN do it from ANYWHERE in the universe. Do you understand me?”

“Yes,” she said. “But Doctor… can we still be friends?”

“We were NEVER friends,” he answered. “Now go. Get out of my TARDIS while I’m still feeling generous.”

B’Tallia Vance beat a hasty retreat. The Doctor closed the door and turned to the console.

“Right, next stop Titan for the Professor and Ric,” he said.