Unfinished Business, Doctor Who, Dr. Who, Chris Eccleston, Christopher Eccleston, Doctor who Fiction

Barbara was enjoying this visit to the planet Luaisa. It was a beautiful world mostly consisting of tropical islands which were visited for pure pleasure. She had spent several enjoyable days on the beach with cold drinks and a sunshade, a floppy hat and bathing costume and all the books she had never got round to reading when they were being chased by Daleks and various other strange entities.

Susan was content, too. She was on the deckchair next to her, wearing a very skimpy bikini that contrasted hugely with the school uniform that Barbara had seen her in every day at Coal Hill. She looked older than the just turned sixteen that she was. Her choice of reading on the beach was advanced thermodynamics, a science even Ian was vague about.

“The basics are quite obvious, really,” Susan had explained to Barbara, not quite treating her like a student rather than a teacher. “It’s about the properties of heat. For example, how these shades diffuse the heat, and how we would be dreadfully sunburnt if we came out from under them for too long.”

Barbara understood that much, but the book was at least two inches thick with very small print. She was sure that it had to get far more complicated.

“Did I seem as if I was being high-minded and superior when I said that?” Susan asked anxiously.

“No, not at all,” Barbara assured her. “Besides, I am sure there are things about history that I know and you don’t. Everyone has their specialty.”

Except Susan seemed far advanced in every field of learning. People from her world, wherever it was, took education for granted, it seemed.

“Isn’t it far too nice for books about science,” Barbara added.

“I’m finished, anyway,” Susan answered putting the book aside. The speed with which the child could devour the most complex subjects was something else that amazed Barbara. What kind of a people were she and The Doctor?

Barbara sat up and looked at the sailing boat on the placid water of the bay. The Doctor and Ian were out on it, Ian doing much of the sailing and the old man relaxing. Ian didn’t mind. They talked, man to man, and he was coming to understand The Doctor more than he ever did before – he said.

“This really IS a beautiful world,” Barbara said. “Quite the loveliest I’ve seen. But you must have been to some magnificent places, Susan?”

It was a leading question, intended to get her to talk about her past, and perhaps answer many of the questions that puzzled Ian and Barbara about their two travelling companions.

Susan took the bait.

“Oh, lots,” she answered. “There was Climnmas, in the fourth galaxy, Pandjox Eleven, which had a different season every week – eight seasons in all, including two different springs, summers and autumns when different trees budded and bloomed and produced different fruit. Then there was….”

Barbara listened to her descriptions of different places that all sounded like paradise in their own ways. All of them had disappointed The Doctor in some way - most because their science was too undeveloped for his taste. His idea of paradise would be a fully functioning science research facility with a beachfront veranda.

“I think the most beautiful place we ever went was when I was nine years old,” Susan continued. “It wasn’t a planet at all, but an inhabited asteroid circling a planet in a ring just like Saturn in your solar system. It was called Tiaanamat and was one of seven asteroids capable of supporting life.”

“It’s hard to imagine such a thing,” Barbara admitted. Of all the places she had visited with The Doctor they all looked like her definition of a planet, with moons of varying numbers orbiting them. The idea of life on an asteroid that orbited a planet was fantastic.

“Oh it was beautiful,” Susan continued. “But frightening, too. We had a rather terrifying time there.”

“I’m… not sure I want to know about that,” Barbara said. But at the same time she knew she would find herself prompting Susan, wanting to know more.

“The planet Tiaanamat is a large inhabited asteroid, orbiting the planet Akhaten in its rings,” Susan explained, almost as if reading aloud a tourist brochure description of the world. “The asteroids in the Rings of Akhaten are composed of solidified molten magma ore fragments. The city of Tiaanamat was built on the largest asteroid on the outer ring as a docking point for travellers, but a community based on trade and commerce developed from it.”

“That makes perfect sense,” Barbara said. “Many cities have developed that way. Liverpool, Shanghai, San Francisco….”

“Yes,” Susan admitted. “Tiaanamat is also host to the Festival of Offerings, a millennial choral ceremony held when the planet's rings are aligned. It is a very special time for the city because people of all kinds, from all over the system, visit. Their street markets and restaurants, lodging houses, all make huge profits from the visitors.”

Barbara was old enough and worldly enough to think of a few other things that would boom in such a time – crime, black marketing and all sorts of underhand goings on. Perhaps that was why Susan said it had been a frightening time, despite the beauty of the planet.

“The really strange thing about Tiaanamat is the ‘currency’ used,” Susan continued. “They don’t use money of any sort. They exchange items of emotional value.”

“I don’t understand,” Barbara said. “How.…”

“Mostly I brought little things, pieces of costume jewellery that Grandfather let me have to play dressing up with. The emotional attachment I had to them wasn’t huge. They were valuable enough to pay for sweets and little souvenirs at the market. But something more important, like a birthday present, would have paid for a night’s lodgings and dinner.”

Barbara still didn’t quite understand. Nobody could who hadn’t experienced it. Susan closed her eyes and let herself remember as it happened.

“Do be careful about what you exchange,” The Doctor had said to her as they walked leisurely through the market place, their senses assailed by the sounds, the smells, the colourful sights of stalls selling raw spices and multi-coloured cloths, hand tooled leather goods, beautiful glassware and hand made ceramics, as well as more peculiar things like glass bubbles containing holograms of goldfish swimming around or rubber balls that bounced along by themselves.

The hologram goldfish made a fascinating display, but Susan had never really wanted a pet on board the TARDIS, and certainly not an artificial one. She exchanged a small paste ring for a bag of melt-in-the-mouth honey biscuits that she shared with her grandfather. They considered that a fair swap.

“The costume jewellery comes from the Milan opera house,” her grandfather explained. “They were used in one of Giaccomo Puccini’s great operas, La Boheme. He gave them to me along with a signed score. That, I would never part with. He was a very good friend to me in his life. I was there when he died. I was very sorry about that.”

“Humans die more easily than we do,” Susan noted without any emotion attached to the statement of fact.

“Yes, they do,” her Grandfather agreed. For a few minutes his eyes were looking on a more distant place and time, then he looked down at Susan by his side and smiled warmly at her.

“Let us see what price we should have to pay for a space scooter to ride around the asteroid upon.” He strode towards a place where strange vehicles like motorbikes partially enclosed in car bodywork were for hire. The Doctor offered a small silk handkerchief with a monogram on it. Susan knew he had a whole drawer full of them aboard the TARDIS. They once belonged to his wife, her grandmother, who was long dead before she was born. They were precious to him, but he had plenty more of them. He could spare one for an entertaining and educational afternoon for his granddaughter.

Susan was delighted by the idea. Sharing such an adventure with her grandfather was special in itself. Of course, she had shared the great adventure of travelling in the TARDIS for some years now, but an excursion like this was special.

The scooter was small, but quite comfortable. She sat behind her grandfather, who took the controls, of course. A safety strap came across her middle in case the more sophisticated gravity cushion failed. As the scooter rose vertically into the air an environmental bubble enclosed them, creating a mini-atmosphere and a limited amount of gravity. When they left the thin atmosphere of the asteroid they were quite safe.

The feeling of near-weightlessness made Susan laugh. Her grandfather laughed, too. His deep voice rang out like a big old bell next to her smaller, higher pitched one. They laughed together as he banked the scooter around and she saw the asteroid from within the outer ring. It looked like a nugget of iron ore with the city sprawled on top of it.

“Shall we go around the whole ring and see the other asteroids?” The Doctor asked his granddaughter.

“Oh, yes,” she said at once. “Yes, please, grandfather.”

He smiled at such an easy way to indulge her and turned the scooter into an orbit of the great molten giant, Akhaten, safely between the outer ring where the inhabited asteroids were and the inner one which was made up of much smaller rocks and debris that could not sustain an atmosphere.

The seven asteroids were beautiful to look at. One of them, Aametta, was particularly spectacular. It glittered in the reflected light of the mother planet as if its surface contained millions of diamonds. In fact, it was merely quartz, a less valuable mineral, but the effect was lovely.

“It’s like a galaxy on its own,” Susan commented. The Doctor was pleased that she used her imagination in such a way. He didn’t want her to be so coldly logical as his people could be.

“Yes, it is,” he agreed. “The people there revere light. They built a great cathedral of quartz that shines with a myriad colours. If we wait a few minutes for the orbit to align with ours we will see it.”

He put the scooter in hover mode so that she could see that wonder, and it lived up to the promise, like a great star among the millions of tiny ones.

Daanmet, the next of the asteroids, was quite the opposite. The dark surface almost sucked in the light like a black hole. It was covered in a particular carbon molecule that was so densely black that light could not penetrate it.

“On Daanmet,” The Doctor explained to Susan. “Light is the most valuable currency. A single candle is as precious as a diamond. Making light on an asteroid that rejects light is a very important matter.”

“I don’t think I would like to live there,” Susan replied. “I like sunshine.”

“So do I,” The Doctor agreed with her. They travelled on, looking at each of the greater asteroids and some of the smaller ones between that were used as navigational beacons or in one case as a mausoleum for the dead of a community with limited land and an aversion to the idea of cremation.

They were heading back towards Tiaanamat when they were over-shadowed by a huge ship with a dull reddish-black hull that rejected the light almost as much as the asteroid Daanmet. They couldn’t hear it, of course, because sound didn’t travel in space, but Susan imagined that it must have made a great, discordant roar.

“What is it, grandfather?” she asked fearfully. There was something about that ship that was frightening, not just to a little girl but to anyone who looked at it.

“I don’t know, my dear, but let us get away from it. We have no business with anyone aboard such a ship.”

But he found he couldn’t get away. The scooter’s controls were locked and he felt the uncomfortable tingle that came just before a transmat beam.

It was an unprotected beam. He passed out momentarily as it enveloped him. When he came around, he was in a sparsely furnished room in which a dozen sorry looking people languished.

By people, of course, the wider term applied than humanoids generally understood. Two of them were Caninis, the people whose ancestors were dogs. They sat on the floor, as their species did, holding paws, their ears flattened as they leaned their heads towards each other.

A short, fat youth with a bright blue face that was as round as a moon cried silent tears. Beside him a squat man, less than three feet tall, and a very tall, very thin female with silver skin sat glumly and resigned to some unpleasant fate.

“Where am I?” The Doctor asked. “Where is my granddaughter?”

“You’re on the patrol ship Extracto,” said the small man with a Daanmetian accent. “You must have been caught breaking one of the traffic laws.”

“What laws?” The Doctor demanded. “There are no traffic laws within the Rings of Akhaten. And even if there were, I didn’t break any of them. I would not put my granddaughter at risk that way. I was piloting the scooter at a safe speed, keeping well away from the gravity of the outer ring.”

“The Extractors will have found something,” said the tall, beautiful Aamettan. Her voice was so fine, like a silver spoon tapped against fine crystal glass. The sound of it made the blue youth cry even more sorrowfully. The Doctor glanced at him, wondering why he was so distressed.

“He is grieving for his voice,” the Aamettan lady explained. “His name is Plato. He is one of the choristers who sing to the great old God… a Castralto, possessing the highest male voice in the known galaxy, finely trained since he was an infant. His voice was the most precious thing he possessed, so they took it in part-payment of his fine.”

The youth’s mouth opened and shut and a strained whisper confirmed what the Aamettan had said.

“I am Filigree,” said the Daanmetian. “Or at least that was my name when I was worthy of one. They took my light - my fine glass lantern that I have trimmed every day since my father gave it to me on his deathbed – the lantern he had been given by his own father, and his father before him. My light… without it I am destitute and worthless.”

“Oh no!” The Doctor groaned. “Oh… no. They cannot…. No….”

One of the Caninis, the male, stood, patting the female gently. He came to The Doctor’s side and put a sympathetic paw on his shoulder.

“They take what is most precious,” he said. “Our pups… barely a year old. Genevieve - my wife - is beside herself.”

The female whimpered in grief.

“They will be so scared,” she said. “Oh, Theo, what will we do?”

Theo gave a soft growl in the back of his throat as if he knew what he would do if he had a chance, but there was also a defeated tone as if he knew the chance would never come.

“My granddaughter!” The Doctor spoke in a cracked, broken voice that sounded so much older than before. “They took Susan from me?”

“She is your most precious thing.” A Gannetian, with a face like moulded clay, also came to The Doctor’s side, offering sympathy. His six-fingered hands were both heavy with large rings set with expensive stones. “My wife was taken from me. I am Goldin Mancini. I have riches galore from mineral trading. But Belle is more precious to me than any weight of gold or silver – or, indeed, Lutanium.”

The Doctor heard several of the people say that they owned jewels and precious manuscripts, merely material things, but had lost that which had no price except to their hearts. One man, almost as distraught as the blue youth, held up hands that shook with grief and said that the music had been taken from him. He, Antoni Brix, had been one of the finest composers on Tiaanamat, whose choral works had been sung for the past generation to appease the Old God. Now it was all gone from his head. He couldn’t even remember the simplest nursery rhyme.

“This cannot be,” The Doctor protested. “Nobody has the authority to do such a thing.”

“They have the authority of force,” explained the gentle, beautiful Aamettan who gave her name as Amathysta. “The restricted zones are never the same two days in a row. Nobody knows where or when to expect them to be waiting. I thought I was safe – I was almost at my destination when my shuttle was intercepted and they took my spouse in payment. I am bereft without her. We have been bonded for thirteen rotations of the outer ring. I do not know how I should live on my own again.”

“It is an outrage. It cannot be allowed,” The Doctor protested. “There must be some place of appeal against such arbitrary penalties.”

“If there is, we have no recourse to it,” Goldin sighed. “We are prisoners of the extractors until the rest of our penalty is paid in work. Even I, with all my wealth, cannot avail myself of legal counsel as long as I am kept here.”

“Then the answer is simple,” The Doctor said. “Do not be kept here. Why sit here in mourning for your losses? Fight them.”

“How?” asked Theo the Caninis. “What can we do?”

“We can get out of this holding cell for a start,” The Doctor answered him. “Between us, we must have the resources.”

He looked at the door. It was a huge, steel bulkhead with no obvious mechanism on this side. It looked impossible. He could understand why his fellow defaulters felt that there was no hope.

“Do they bring food?” he asked. “They surely must.”

“A gruel that barely suffices,” replied Amathysta. “It will be brought in a few minutes.”

“Good. That is time enough to plan our escape,” The Doctor said. “Listen to me, now. Have courage, friends, and we will take back what has been stolen from us. Yes, I say stolen, for it is a monstrous thing that defies galactic law. We shall take back what was stolen and bring these terrible injustices to an end.”

Some of the captives looked doubtful. Some clearly lacked courage or physical strength to fight. But Theo left his wife’s side and asked The Doctor what he thought they should do. The blue youth, Plato, rasped out his willingness to be part of the resistance, drying his eyes for the first time since The Doctor had first seen him. Filigree the dwarf was ready to retrieve his lantern and Amathysta her spouse. Goldin, too, was ready to fight for his wife’s freedom.

They were enough for the plan to work.

“Grandfather told me all about it later,” Susan explained. “How he had spurred on the other captives to help themselves.”

“Just as he encouraged the Thals to fight the Daleks, of course,” Barbara remarked. “He won’t stand for tyranny of any sort. But what about you, Susan? You were only a little girl, then. Weren’t you frightened?”

“Horribly frightened,” Susan admitted. “The place where I was taken was so strange. I wasn’t alone, of course. There was Goldin’s wife, Silvera, and Rubia, Amathysta’s spouse. The puppies - Theo and Genevieve’s little puppies – they were so sad. We tried to comfort them. The young of Caninis look just like dogs. They don’t get their humanoid features until they are at least two years old. They didn’t know where they were or what had happened. They were crying for their parents.”

Trying to comfort the puppies took Susan’s mind off her own unhappiness for some of the time, but every so often she felt a deep pang of misery as she thought of her grandfather.

The captive people comforted each other, but there were other things here that puzzled and frightened her a little. Susan looked at the glowing bell jars in which sparkling light or coloured smoke was trapped. When she stood near one of them a fine singing voice could be heard. By another one, exquisite music. One jar was full of arcing electrical discharges and when she listened she could hear somebody reading out complicated scientific formulae. Another jar was full of poetry that made Susan at once hopeful and despairing, happy and sad, triumphant and defeated as she listened to the recitations.

Rubia explained what they were – the precious and unique talents taken from men or women who had fallen foul of the extractors.

“I was taken from Grandfather?” Susan was very slightly surprised. “I always thought his TARDIS was his most important possession.”

“It’s not about possessions,” Silvera explained. “It is about what the heart considers most precious. Your grandfather must love you very much, my dear.”

“Yes, he does,” Susan confirmed. “Sometimes he is cross with me. He has such a lot of rules that I must obey. But, yes, he loves me. That’s WHY he makes those rules, to ensure my safety.”

Of that Susan was sure. And even more certainly she felt that her grandfather would not accept her forced estrangement lightly. He would find her. It was just a matter of time.

But it didn’t make that time any easier on her. She bit back the tears bravely and spoke kindly to the puppies, trying to assure them that they would be reunited with their parents.

“Don’t make such promises,” Rubia told her. “We are prisoners here, with no help forthcoming. Likely the puppies will be sold as servants just like the rest of us.”

“Sold? Oh no!” Susan did her best not to cry out loud. “Oh no, that cannot be. Grandfather will come.”

“Look at that,” Rubia said, pointing to the far end of their prison. There were piles of gold, silver, lutanium, every valuable jewel of every hue, a whole shelf full of precious manuscripts and title deeds to properties.

“Those belonged to people who had material things at their heart. They were the lucky ones. All they lost was wealth. The extractors let them go quite quickly. But the rest of us….”

“How can they sell what is in those belljars?” Susan asked. “Surely genius has no price.”

“It has a value in the commodities market at Tiaanamat,” Silvera told her. “There are rich men who would bid highly just to own the voice of a fine singer or the poetry of a great bard, just as some men will bid highly for a magnificent painting or a piece of sculpture.”

“It’s horrible,” Susan commented. She knew that the people who had been stripped of such priceless elements of their very souls must be as grief-stricken as those who had lost loved ones.

She wondered briefly what might have happened if her grandfather had valued his intellect, his great store of knowledge over so many hundreds of years, above all else. Would that have been taken and put into a jar?

She couldn’t help thinking they would need a considerably BIGGER belljar. The idea made her smile despite herself.

It was a curious comfort knowing that she WAS more to him than anything else.

But still she was parted from him and there was that gnawing emptiness inside her even though she WAS certain that he would come for her.


The plan worked perfectly. It was simple in its own way, of course. They waited by the door for their captors to bring in the cauldron of unappetising food and then outflanked them, getting between the guards and the door. The cauldron was actually tipped over in the confusion and the guards slithered and slipped in the mess before Theo, Plato and Goldin overcame them and tied them up with their own leather belts.

“They look rather pathetic like that,” Amathysta commented, and she was right. The two guards had been dressed in an aggressive style, with lots of studded leather and buckles on their uniform and steel helmets decorated with thick horn. They carried long, thick sticks with more studs in them, but now they had lost their uniforms and their weapons, and were tied hand and foot. They looked like quite skinny and pale humanoids who had lost quite a lot of their authority.

Theo and Goldin were wearing the uniforms. At close quarters they couldn’t possibly pass for Extractors, but they would do at a distance.

“Let’s go,” The Doctor said. “Everyone. We’ll leave the guards in their own cell – a taste of their own medicine. We shall find the bridge and put the ship under our command.”

“Shouldn’t we find our precious ones, first?” Theo asked.

“They’ll be safe enough for now,” The Doctor replied. “Let us secure the ship if we can, then we can be reunited with them.”

It was hard on Theo and Genevive, mourning their children. But after all, the pups would be safer well out of the way of their fight against the Extractors. He didn’t want Susan in danger, either, for that matter. They were all safer where they were for now.

They took several more guards by surprise on the way to the bridge. The scuffles were short. The sheer number of angry captives told against the men in studded leather who all looked much less frightening when they were stripped of those uniforms. Before they reached the bridge almost every one of the former captives was armed with a stout stick studded with sharp metal pieces. They were ready for the final showdown.

The Doctor was worried about what might happen when they reached the bridge, though. How big would the opposition be? Would there be a long drawn out fight? Would people be hurt, even killed? He was leading a makeshift army of people who were far from natural soldiers. Yes, of course, they all had as much at stake. They had all lost something immeasurably important to them. But that didn’t make the guilt in his hearts any less.

But there was nothing for it. Now they had started they had to take this to the natural conclusion. He put the least able in the middle of their offensive. Genevive, the female Canisis wasn’t one of them. She stood with her husband at the vanguard, ready to have her revenge on the people who took her children from her. She had an expression on her face like an angry wolf. The Doctor almost felt pity for the Extractors.

Then he led the charge onto the bridge, wielding a club high above his head the way the Vikings of old wielded battle axes. He was the first to knock down one of the enemy as the captives fought valiantly.

It was The Doctor who approached the captain of the ship, a man who didn’t fight at all. He was too obscenely fat to move quickly. His captain’s chair was twice as wide as normal and still his midriff flopped over it on either side. He was clothed in three times as much leather and studding as his men but it didn’t inspire fear. His huge bulk was loathsome rather than anything else.

He turned very small eyes in a bloated face upon The Doctor and demanded to know who he was.

“I am The Doctor,” he answered. “And you, sir, are the cause of unwarranted grief among innocent people. I am here to put a stop to your menace. The Extractors are out of business.”

“You are an old man,” the captain responded, his body wobbling like a pile of offal in a slaughterhouse as he attempted to laugh. His mirth was hesitant. The Doctor was flanked by Theo and Genevive with their teeth bared and their paws outstretched to reveal claws that could cut through the leather tunic into the flabby flesh beneath.

“Yes, I am old,” The Doctor replied. “I am a grandfather, and perhaps you don’t realise what that means. I am a man who knows the true value of everything, especially my grandchild, and I would fight to the death to protect her.”

Theo and Genevive growled, the sound beginning softly in their throats and becoming gradually louder. The captain tried to shrink back from them but it was impossible for him to move. The Doctor suspected he couldn’t actually get out of the chair.

“Doctor, we have information,” said Filligree, hurrying to deliver his report. “This ship is not an official representative of any Akhaten government. They are pirates, posing as law enforcers.”

“That is useful to know,” The Doctor said. “It means that we can hand it in to the authorities of any of the seven asteroids. What of the crew?”

“The crew are our prisoners,” Amathysta replied, saluting The Doctor neatly. “What of this one?”

“This one is going nowhere,” The Doctor said. “Do you know how to pilot a ship like this?”

“I do,” Amathysta answered him.

“Head for the nearest space port. Alert the authorities that the ship is being brought in under a neutral flag as captive bounty.”

“Who’s bounty?” Amathysta asked.

“Everyone who has suffered at the hands of these worthless thugs,” The Doctor answered. “I expect there will be many claims once news gets around. Take command of the bridge. Theo, Genevive, come with me. We will get our precious ones, now.”

Amathysta was an able captain, allocating navigation and communications to those best able to perform those tasks. The Doctor and his Caninis lieutenants headed for the forward freight hold. Plato, the blue youth came with them. Without a voice he was no use as a temporary crewman. He lent himself to the rescue mission instead.

When the heavy metal door opened many of the prisoners drew away in fear. The puppies cringed against those who held them. Then Susan laughed with joy and ran, three of the puppies bounding at her heels. Theo and Genevive stroked and groomed their little ones while The Doctor hugged his granddaughter fondly.

Plato approached one of the glittering bell jars. He lifted it and threw it down on the floor. The contents swirled around him for a long moment before his body absorbed them. He turned, smiling, and cleared his throat before singing a perfect scale ending with the very highest note any male being in the galaxy could reach. The other belljars shattered. Their contents rose up and then flew away through the open door. The music, the mathematics, the poetry, would reach those they were stolen from.

“Come along,” The Doctor said to Rubia and Silvera. “Those who hold you precious in their hearts are waiting.”

“There was such a tremendous fuss when we reached the space port on Tiaanamet,” Susan told Barbara. “The crew and captain were all arrested on the spot, of course, and we all had to make statements. Meanwhile many people turned up who had been tricked by them before. There were so many claims made that the captain would have been bankrupted if it had just been about money. As it was, he lost what he treasured the most – his freedom. He was sentenced to hundreds of years in prison – on a diet of bread and water and hard labour every day which would have done him a lot of good. He really was dreadfully fat and greedy.”

“Well, thank goodness everyone got back what was precious to them,” Barbara said.

“There was a wonderful concert to celebrate. Plato sang the poetry of the bard who had been captured to music written by Antoni Brix. It was a song of joy and freedom so lovely it is impossible to describe to you, and everyone who had felt so desolate when they were taken by the extractors felt the joy in their hearts. Grandfather cried – tears of happiness – and it was weeks after that before he remembered to be cross with me about anything.”

“That’s good to know, too,” Barbara agreed. “I think I would prefer to stay on this planet than visit such a place as that, all the same. This is so much more peaceful.”

Then she looked up as The Doctor and Ian came hurrying towards them, having beached the yacht at the low water point. They were shouting something urgent.

“Get into the TARDIS,” they called. “There’s been an underwater earthquake. A tsunami is going to hit this beach very soon. Run….”

“Oh dear,” Barbara sighed as she grabbed her book and her sunhat and got ready to run. “There really isn’t ANY perfect place in this galaxy, is there?”