Death of The Loch Ness Monster was rather an inevitable story ever since I wrote the first revamped Torchwood Two story, introducing Munroe MacDonald, whose previous job was looking after the ‘wee beastie’. Sooner or later I was bound to do a story set on Loch Ness.
Now, this is a Doctor Who spin off universe. So that means that the Loch Ness monster is a Skarasen, a creature brought to Earth by the Zygons to use in their dastardly plan to take over the planet. When they were destroyed, The Doctor sent the Skarasen back to the only home it knew – Loch Ness, there to live in peace.
Actually, there is an alternative Doctor Who story in which the monster was the Borad from Karfel, banished there through the Timelash, but let’s stick with the Skarasen, it’s a much more satisfying idea. It means that U.N.I.T are fully aware of the monster from the early 1970s and are actually protecting it. that seems like a good use of taxpayer’s money to me.
The song Munroe sings to little Etsuko as they walk along the lochside, is from the TV series, The Family Ness. There are probably about two dozen verses all on the same theme. In that cartoon, too, humans in the know protect the Nessie from prying eyes, so it seems appropriate.
The idea that the creature only reproduces once in its lifetime, thereby replacing itself and continuing its species, was actually part of a story I wrote some time ago in the New Lords of Time series, called Skarasen of Dromnadroichit. That story was set nearly two centuries in the future, so the storyline here fits in without contradicting it. The Nessie seen there would be the child born of the dying Nessie in this story.
Killing off the Loch Ness Monster is a bit of a drastic thing to do. Only a really monumental environmental disaster could possibly make that happen. Which brings us to the story within the story, in which Dougal, the immortal, gay ex-soldier and Shona Stewart, the homophobic career soldier on detachment from U.N.I.T, team up to find out who caused the poison in the lake. Having created Shona as a very hard-nosed and unfriendly character, she is gradually warming up, and she works perfectly well with Dougal at this point, though she obviously disapproves of his homosexuality. The two of them act professionally when on duty. Obviously. Owen has pushed them together as often as possible to make sure they do just that.
When writing this part of the story I had in mind something like the storyline in the 1964 Doctor Who story, Planet of The Giants, in which The Doctor and friends uncover scientists who have created a deadly poison and intend to market it as a safe insecticide without telling anyone of the dangers. It was as simple as that, really. No aliens, nothing supernatural. Just Human beings acting stupid. The real story, of course, is the Loch Ness Monster, aka the Skarasen, giving birth to a newborn Skarasen as she dies, and so there will always be a Nessie in the Loch.
Is that a bit sentimental for a Torchwood story? Well, maybe. But now and again, I don’t think a bit of sentiment hurts, and the Cardiff story this month was a dark enough one in its subject matter. A bit of light relief doesn’t go amiss.