Elementals started with two props for inspiration. One was the TARDIS key pendant I got for my birthday. The other was a picture of Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, that I came across on the internet. I had a rather nice vision of the TARDIS appearing in the Gardens, responding to somebody with a TARDIS key who was in trouble.

 

Just who would be in trouble was the next problem. Somebody with a TARDIS key had to be an old companion, or somebody close enough to an old companion to have their key. And I thought of Polly, from all those years back in the black and white days. The assumption was that she and Ben would get together. And if so they might well have children, just like Jo and Cliff. Enter Polly Jackson, a budding fashion designer, with problems.

 

Having established who everyone is, the action switches to the yard of Edinburgh Castle, where Polly’s business partner is acting out of character for a mild mannered man, usually as camp as a row of tents and with the fashion sense of a prawn. The Doctor immediately realises the man is being infested with an Elemental.

 

Now, before Dungeons and Dragons and internet gaming, I was pretty sure I knew what an Elemental was. They turned up in spooky stories in the comics I read. Little invisible gremlins that sat on people’s shoulders and turned them into cranky, irritable shadows of themselves. Trying to get any further information proved difficult because the whole interactive fantasy fiction thing has changed the meaning of what they are. But I did find a lot of stuff about Paracelsus. Paracelsus was more or less what The Doctor described him as, somebody who held back real science on planet earth. He was also quoted by Doctor Frankenstein as an inspiration for his work. Need I say more! The Doctor does admit though, that there is more to his theory about Elementals than meets the eye, and yes, the little critters do exist.

 

Forgetting that Glenda had already stormed off before he cured everyone in the Castle yard was definitely a bit thick of him. I imagine that readers will be yelling ‘what about Glenda’ all through the supper scene until he remembers. Then they’ll be saying – hang on, I thought the immature ones couldn’t spawn. But The Doctor explains it. The problem of how far somebody could travel having been infected was a loophole until I wrote in the bit where The Doctor scans the whole British Isles and concludes there is just one Elemental left  - the one attached to Glenda.

 

Yes, I’ve seen a couple of episodes of Road Wars, and all those other programmes about traffic police and their problems. The rolling road block, using a TARDIS, seemed to me an excellent way of stopping the car. After that it was all over except some group hugs.

 

I am in too minds whether to revisit Polly. Originally I had thought of her as a new companion when Wyn and Stella leave, but I’m not entirely sure I will. She does have her career to work on.

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paracelsus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elemental