Vicky was the name of the woman Jack married in the mid-Edwardian era according to an earlier story, The Best Christmas. She was a sweet, shy woman with very little sexual experience who nevertheless loved Jack to bits. He was smitten with her, and devastated when she was killed in a house fire.
Vicky, of course, was my interpretation of that picture of Jack and a woman getting married that we saw at the end of “Something Borrowed”. That image spawned a whole lot of speculation and a rash of fan fiction. But I don’t believe it was meant to be the woman he was involved with in the 1970s who was the mother of Alice Carter (AKA Melissa Moretti, his estranged daughter. The picture in Something Borrowed was very much older than that. The clothes, the formal pose, the type of photograph it was, all point to the turn of the twentieth century. The obvious clue that he didn’t MARRY Lucia Moretti in that backstory is that her daughter’s surname was Moretti. The woman he married goes back long before her.
This story fills in a bit more of that relationship as I saw it, but in a very unusual way. Jack, Gwen and Sergeant Andy Davidson are all knocked out in an explosion and find themselves transported back in time. Yes, I know, it’s been done – Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes. So I don’t need to explain the mechanics of it, then, do I? Suffice to say this isn’t merely a dream for any of them. It is all happening. Jack is back with his beloved wife and looking forward to getting her into bed and removing her clothes. Well, you know Jack!
The alien incursion at the theatre is actually only a side-show to Jack and Vicky at home. It is something for Andy and Gwen to do while he is enjoying cocoa and building up to bedtime. The main point of interest is the theatre. The King’s Theatre in Cardiff was only called that from 1904 to 1907. Before that it was the Hippodrome and afterwards the Grand Palace and Hippodrome. It is now a Wetherspoons pub called The Gatekeeper. I intended to use the better known New Theatre, but it was just a bit too new, having opened in 1906, a year after this story was set. Houdini DID appear there in 1905. I found a list of his appearances online.
And what it is all building up to is the revelation, right at the end, that Vicky didn’t die by accident, but was murdered by Jack’s arch enemy, Saul Galen. Obviously neither of them would be so cruel as to pass that information on to him.
The bit at the beginning and end about the Plaid Cymru mayoral candidate turning out to be an alien was obviously a bit of background. This was an idea I had that was never going to make a whole story, so I just wrapped it around the main action of this one.