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Doctor Who and the Horror of Coal Hill was a web short story published in the 2017 Adventure Calendar, featuring the First Doctor.

Summary Edit

In 1963, the Doctor walks through the fog of Shoreditch towards Coal Hill School, when he gets the feeling of being followed by something snarling behind him, but attempts to shake it off.

Arriving at the school, the Doctor bumps into a teacher, Shivani Bajwa, outside the staff room. He asks for the whereabouts of Susan and gets briefly confused when asked what year she is in. After being told that she has already left, the Doctor gets concerned about her walking through the fog, as it has been dry for days and should not be there. After simply telling Shivani to run, a man with a bloodied face sprints into the door behind them, with more following, desperately attempting to get into the school. The Doctor gets out a small device and locks the doors to keep the mysterious fog out, and after the crowd disperses, another teacher, Professor Gibson, appears in the hallway and stares at the door behind the Doctor and Shivani. A huge, grey-haired wolf appears outside the door as dozens more emerge out of the fog, lining up to attack the school.

Some time later, the Third Doctor stands in the same corridor of Coal Hill School with Sarah Jane Smith, recalling the story to her while carrying a bunch of roses. However, he does not mention who locked the doors during the attack, although Sarah quickly figures out it was him, leaving her aghast. The Doctor simply attempts to hide his face from her.

Back in 1963, the leader of the wolves attempts to attack the door, and Shivani personally nicknames it 'Red Fang' after noticing its teeth. As the wolves charge at the doors together, the Doctor's device turns the doors stronger, and the Doctor, Shivani, and Gibson take their opportunity to escape to one of the science laboratories.

As the Doctor performs some research in the ten minutes they have safe, Gibson says he wants to try and escape, although the Doctor quickly shoots down his ideas. The Doctor concludes that the fog is a type of sensor carrying out reconnaissance for the wolves, and wonders if it bears any relation to the name of 'Coal Hill'. With no mining history in the area, the name could derive from 'col', meaning 'dying ember', and the wolves could be attracted to the area because of the dying embers of a war that happened centuries before. As Shivani realises that the wolves were not from Earth, Gibson begins violently coughing and begins transforming into a wolf. This shortly happens to Shivani as well, who declares that they shall feast.

In another era, an older Sarah Jane Smith is hearing more of the story, being told by the Eleventh Doctor. She tries on one of his fezzes as he confirms that he has brought a bunch of roses with him, as usual. The Doctor tells her that when faced with Shivani, he simply did what she had already done to him, which confuses Sarah. Attempting to change the conversation, he lets Sarah give his fez as a present to Clyde.

Back in the laboratory, the Doctor attempts to get through to Shivani by reminding her who she is, and getting her humanity back, just as she had done to him. Upon hearing this, Shivani eventually comes round to her human self and the two escape from the transformed Gibson. As they hear wolves following behind them, they quickly hide in a nearby small room as hundreds of wolves tear past, before vanishing in a second. However, when the two open the door, they are met by Red Fang staring at them. The Doctor attempts to use the 'potion' he had made on Red Fang, and it initially appears affected, but simply howls for another group of wolves to run towards them. The Doctor and Shivani hide in the small room again as Shivani lowers a ladder from the ceiling into a loft that leads them to the school's rooftop garden.

Up on the roof, Shivani attempts to calm herself from the impending attack by remembering when she travelled to Britain as a child with her parents, although the Doctor tells her that each person's future is shaped countless people they will never meet. The Doctor remembers a friend he had 'back home' who he promised to visit every star with. With the two feeling calm, they face the wolves hand in hand.

Shivani remembers her boat journey to Britain in the 1950s. A young Shivani tells her parents that she is slightly scared, while her father tells her that whenever she is scared, she should find a star and make a wish. Back at the school, Shivani does just that while holding the Doctor's hand, as the wolves mysteriously disappear. The Doctor reveals his 'potion' simply took some time to affect the fog, where it convinced the fog to tell the wolves to leave. However, it came at the side-effect of killing all the school's flowers. The Doctor asks Shivani what her favourites were.

In the 2010s, the Twelfth Doctor visits the flourishing rooftop garden with a bunch of roses as he exchanges a story about Davros with the now-married Shivani Singh. The Doctor finally asks the older Shivani what she did after he left fifty years ago. She says she phoned the police, who sent someone to check out the junkyard, and later thanked a supply teacher that was in that day for putting the ladder in the small room they were hiding in. Upon hearing the supply teacher was Scottish, the Doctor asks if she was wearing purple, but Shivani admits it was too long ago to even remember her name. As work begins to convert the school into an academy, the Doctor spots another figure carrying roses walking in, and quickly makes his getaway.

In 1963, shortly after the incident, Shivani chats to the supply teacher about the event just as she returns to the school. Shivani tells her that she never found out the name of the stranger that helped her, and he just called himself 'the Doctor'. The supply teacher simply stares out of the window to the stars and asks 'Doctor who?'

CharactersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • The First Doctor is depicted in his astrakhan hat.
  • Shivani is a science teacher at Coal Hill School.
  • There are "a few" other Susans attending Coal Hill School.
  • Shivani owns a Hillman Imp - a type of car.
  • The Third Doctor speaks of his friendship with Tim Berners-Lee, whom he calls "Bernie".
  • The various Doctors take bouquets of white roses on their visits to Coal Hill School.
  • In 'Coal Hill', the word 'Coal' comes from the old English meaning 'dying ember' The Doctor speculates that Coal Hill is named for a battle once fought on the site of the current neighbourhood.
  • Sarah Jane eats a corned beef sandwich.
  • Sarah Jane tries on a fez.
  • The Eleventh Doctor picks up a book on the French Revolution.
  • Sarah Jane is due to meet Luke.
  • The Eleventh Doctor tells Sarah to give the fez to Clyde.
  • As a child, Shivani emigrated to Britain on a boat which docked at Tilbury.
  • The Twelfth Doctor refers to the O2.
  • Part of Coal Hill School is due to become Coal Hill Academy. Bulldozers are due to start work the next day.

NotesEdit

  • This is the first story that Sarah Jane Smith has appeared in as her older self since Elizabeth Sladen's death in 2011.

ContinuityEdit

External linksEdit