|Companion(s):||Adric, Nyssa, Tegan|
|Main setting:||England, the 1950s|
|Part of:||Short Trips: The Centenarian|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Ancient Whispers||Dear John|
- You may be looking for the Torchwood novel.
The TARDIS has arrived on 1950s Earth, and the Doctor can't figure out why. Strange equations appear on the console, and Adric is fascinated by them. Tegan, bored, leaves the TARDIS to explore. She finds herself in a maternity ward.
Something is trying to take over the TARDIS, but when the Doctor tries to stop it, Adric knocks him away. Nyssa loses consciousness because of the presence in her mind. Adric, controlled by the entity, leaves the TARDIS.
Tegan comes across a man who at first mistakes her for one of the staff. He tells her he's afraid there is something wrong with his new son. She sits with him and talks to him, telling him about Australia.
Adric/the entity controls the ward sister, Kathleen Cannon, and gets her to take him to one of the rooms, from where he takes one of the babies and returns to the TARDIS.
When the Doctor comes to, Adric is standing at the console, working the controls. He sees that they have left Earth, but before he can do anything, he hears a baby's cry. When he finds the baby, he can feel some kind of entity trying to enter his brain. He brings the baby back to the control room, and when Adric is distracted by a sound from Nyssa, the Doctor uses the distraction to knock Adric out. He hands the baby to a now conscious Nyssa.
They look at the equations that Adric has entered, and they realise that the entity is an advanced computer program. It is trying to find a home in the child. However, the child begins to have trouble breathing.
Meanwhile Tegan has been able to get the man with her to smile. However, he also tells her that his son might be brain damaged. And when he tells her his son's name is John, he uses the past tense and becomes angry at himself.
The Doctor deduces that the entity wants to make its own family. They need to get the mother programme out of Adric and the child program out of the baby.
The Doctor and Nyssa leave the programme on Otho, far from any intelligent life. They return to the TARDIS and wake up Adric.
Tegan and the man part company, but when she returns to the TARDIS' last location, it is gone. Kathleen Cannon discovers that the baby is missing and remembers the boy who came in earlier. She panics.
Adric claims he can't remember what happened. When they arrive at the hospital, they look through several doors before they find the one in which Adric thinks the baby belongs. When they get back to the TARDIS, Tegan is waiting angrily for them.
Nyssa questions Adric about whether he got the right mother, and he says the name was something like "Nailer" or "Grayson". Tegan makes the connection and says the name is "Grainger".
Kathleen Cannon, expecting to be in trouble with the ward specialist, Mr Holland, tries to explain why the baby is missing, but he shows her the baby is not only safe and sound, but any signs of brain damage are gone. His parents, Edward and Eleanor Grainger, say his name is John.
- The Fifth Doctor
- Tegan Jovanka
- Edward Grainger
- Kathleen Cannon
- Mr Holland
- Eleanor Grainger
- John Grainger
- The Doctor uses Venusian karate on Adric.
- Tegan tells Edward about Brisbane, Queensland, the barrier reef, Frasier Island, turtles and dolphins.
- Nyssa remembers her father Tremas holding her when she was a baby.
- Otho is the second moon of Liberius.
- The stories in Short Trips: The Centenarian revolve around Edward Grainger, a man who has met the Doctor more than a dozen times over the course of his life.