Prince of El’Rhoa is, perhaps, not as epic as the previous story, which had so many elements to it that fell into place easily. This began with two ideas in mind. First, The Doctor in the summerhouse forbidding Stella from dallying with the Prince, and then the scene where The Doctor produces the diamonds to pay the ransom when the two star-crossed lovers are kidnapped. I then had an idea for the final scene where The Doctor is shown his recovered diamonds, and he knows that they are worthless compared to the lives of his friends.

 

 

Between those two ideas, I had to fill in all the blanks, and create a story about two youngsters who think it is true love and decide to run away, only to end up being kidnapped and regretting their foolishness. It is a bit of a twist that Stella was the main reason for the kidnapping, not the prince, and that the diamonds were only part of it. The kidnapper wanted to get off the planet, too. The Doctor, the Time Lord with his time and space travelling ship, was the reason for it all. Sometimes it isn’t just about money. But money was a part of it!

 

The fact that the Tu’lK’et’h are horsemen didn’t feature a great deal in this story, apart from the scene where The Doctor found out whether the TARDIS could take horses or not. This is one reason why I was glad to have written the first of the El’Roah stories, featuring them more completely. This story works in its own way, but it needed separating from the camp fire tales.

 

The ending was, in fact, harder to write than the rest of the story for one reason. Having finished it, I completely rewrote the ending. In the first draft, the Prince dies, and Stella is the chief mourner at his funeral, and The Doctor is presented with the box of diamonds after the funeral. It was good, very dramatic and all. But I couldn’t see how I could go on to have Stella as a happy teenager in future stories after such a thing happening to her. So, it was rewritten so that The Doctor gets in the way of the electronic bolt and is injured, but because he is a Time Lord he survives. Meanwhile, the ‘marriage’ of Stella and Tirat is annulled by the king. She is sad, but has suffered no worse than any girl her age who finds out it wasn’t true love after all. I think, on the whole, it works better that way.