|Power to the People|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Magazine 114|
|Cover date:||July 1986|
|DWM short stories|
Power to the People was a short story published in Doctor Who Magazine.
The Sixth Doctor and Peri are in the TARDIS discussing "what-if's" to do with collapsing time-streams. They are interrupted by a voice who claims to have "created the creator", a being who has had a guiding and protective interest in the Doctor that goes back to before he left Gallifrey. The being claims to have made the Universe in a science lesson and placed a barrier around it to protect it from others of its kind and itself. Halfway through its existence it needed to have its Heart replaced. To this end he gave a Key into the charge of a Guardian of the Universe sealed inside.
Unfortunately the Guardian split in two: Black and White. They were too busy fighting each other to fulfil their purpose. The being has chosen the Doctor, whom he has watched out for, to complete the task and renew the Universe's Heart.
The key to the Heart had already been used, having been collected by the Doctor; having once held the Key, he retains the power to open the lock of the heart. The White Guardian once had been given a dud key that only lasted a few years, not the intended half-life of the Universe.
The time has come for the Heart to be replaced. With the Doctor's agreement, the TARDIS doors open on a grey place. The Doctor and Peri pass through the door and avoid dark rooms with walls of sharp teeth and dark fears, illusions of foes fought: Daleks, Cybermen, Davros, and a postmistress from Littlehampton telling the Doctor he hasn't paid his stamp money. The Doctor then suddenly realises that he has never been to Littlehampton, and the illusions fade. They find a pedestal in an empty room with a brown parcel. Underneath is a small hatch which has rusty cylinders in it with the letters E,V,E,R,,R,E,A,D and Y barely visible.
The Doctor replaces the old batteries with new ones he has been given and states this knowledge alone is dangerous. The being hears him and agrees...
Back in the TARDIS the Doctor is trying to read a book. He is interrupted by Peri, who wants to ask him something about Time — but she's forgotten what it was.
to be added
- The origin of the Black and White Guardians is explained.
- The being's watchfulness over the Doctor explains, amongst other things, the staser jam that allowed him to leave Gallifrey in the first place, survival in space when crossing the vacuum between the Urbankan ship and the TARDIS and finding the recorder in the TARDIS to combat Omega.
- 'Ever-Ready' is a well known brand of household battery.
- This short story was the runner-up in the Over 15 Category in a competition run by Doctor Who Magazine in 1986 and printed in DWM 114.
- Written by reader Ian Marchant (who failed to enclose his address), the story ran to nearly three pages and was illustrated with two pictures by regular magazine artist John Ridgway.
- The equally matched forces of the Black and White.
- This story occurs some time after the quest for the Key to Time.
- The Doctor retains some of the power from having held the fully assembled Key to Time.
- The Sixth Doctor still carries a cricket ball around in his pocket (a reference to the Fifth Doctor's love of cricket).