The Doctor loathes panto but when the TARDIS brings him to the Palace Theatre at Christmas, 2014, he has more than bad puns and pantomime dames to worry about. Like the monstrous figures that stalk the backstage corridors, a mystery stretching back over a century and the possible destruction of the entire human race. The stage is set. Can the Doctor prevent tragedy on a terrifying scale or is it curtains for mankind?
Part one Edit
Ceri is an understudy backstage at the Palace Theatre's Christmas pantomime. She see the shadow of a figure with a stag head, and assume its her friend Tom playing a trick on her. She follows it, and it turns around to reveal it has an actual stag head, but on Tom's body. It says, "The revel begins." Ceri, terrified, runs into the props room, where she finds the Twelfth Doctor. He asks her why, if the show is going on, they haven't heard any noise.
They go to the auditorium to investigate. The audience is frozen in time. On stage, the lead actress Jade's head turns into a fox, and she says "The revel begins!"
Part two Edit
The Doctor scans Jade with his sonic, and says the spotlight has changed her DNA and made her a hybrid. A spotlight comes down on George Hollis, turning his head into a badger's. George grabs the Doctor, but before he forces him into the spotlight, Ceri shoves the pumpkin prop onto the hybrid's head. The pair escape the auditorium.
The Doctor brings Ceri to his TARDIS, and tells her he had been tracking a Light Ship to Bishop's Palace, 1902, but had been thrown off course to the same theatre in 2014. They arrive in the earlier time period in the theatre's pantry. Outside, there is the man with a horse head, but he is actually a pantomime horse. He says, "The revel begins – so won't you join in?" They follow him to the ballroom where the audience and mummers are gathered. Ceri compares the repetition of the phrase by the hybrids to actors learning lines. The Doctor tells her he knows where the Light Ship is from, and it could mean the end of humanity.
Part three Edit
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Ceri about the planet Proscenia. It is inhabited by the energy beings Addos and humanoid Logos. The Addos create works of light for the appreciation of the Logos. When the Addos's Light Ship crashed in 1902, they went into hibernation. When the appreciation of the crowds in 2014 woke it up, it tried to recreate what it had last seen to repair its ship. It will keep going until the whole planet is transformed. Ceri says she has a plan.
Audience members are starting to be transformed as Ceri and the Doctor enter the stage. They ask for the audience to participate, and the hybrid cast is closing in. One boy starts it, and the whole crowd begins to laugh. Jade turns back into a human, but the Doctor says the laughter isn't enough to repair the ship.
Ceri begins to tell the audience the story of the Doctor, and he soon joins in. The audience's psychic energy repairs the Light Ship and the Addos departs in a burst of red, green, and gold.
Ceri and the Doctor say their goodbyes, but she notices the sadness in his eyes.
- Cinderella is being performed for a six week run at the Palace Theatre.
- A Mummers play is taking place at the Bishop's Palace in 1902.
to be added
- The Fifth Doctor previously visited a mummers play in Stockbridge with Nyssa in 1899. (AUDIO: Castle of Fear)
- The Doctor shows a clear dislike for panto — even saying that there should be no "panto-ing" on his watch. He showed a similar hatred for banter to the Merry Men (TV: Robot of Sherwood) and to Sam Swift and his crew. (TV: The Woman Who Lived)