|Part of:||Short Trips and Side Steps|
|Release date:||6 March 2000|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Gone Too Soon||Planet of the Bunnoids|
- You may be looking for the Brief Encounter short story.
Dan Blackwood, an average thirty-year-old, is picked up by Martha at a pub. He had told her about his dreams, and she says she has a friend that can help him. Dan is a bit drunk, and only later wonders how he could have let himself trust a complete stranger.
Martha takes him to the tube station, though it appears deserted. They board a carriage that is full of male passengers. Dan blacks out, and when he wakes up, he is surprised he still has his wallet. He notices the other carriages are completely empty, and the men in his carriage are staring forward blankly. The train is moving, not stopping at any stations.
Dan blacks out again, having one of his dreams, and this time when he wakes, Martha and a man named Dobtcheff are present. Dobtcheff is examining the men and determines that one is no good. Martha, now just as glassy-eyed as the men, pulls a gun on the man, ready to shoot him. Dan protests, and Martha turns the gun on him. Suddenly they hear music coming from one of the empty carriages. A man who is playing a recorder joins them, introducing himself as the Doctor. He offers Dobtcheff his help, as he has noticed that whatever Dobtcheff's plan is, it's not working as he would like.
Dobtcheff starts whispering, and one by one the men on the train join in. Dan tries to fight it, but he is pulled into the whispering too, and blacks out once again.
The Doctor wakes him with a slap and brings him out of the train. Dan tells him everything that happened. The Doctor realises that Dobtcheff is using the men to achieve something, and wonders if it has to do with a nearby time distortion. The Doctor wants to know what happened during the fifteen minutes Dan was possessed by Dobtcheff, but Dan can't remember. The Doctor hypnotises Dan and learns some of what Dobtcheff is doing. They hear a loud rumbling noise coming from the tunnel wall. The Doctor realises the tunnel is under the Thames.
Martha comes out of the carriage, holding the gun. The Doctor shuts the door on her, and she drops the gun. Dan retrieves it.
They return to the carriage. The men are dead, and Dobtcheff has reverted to his natural form, with scales over his body and pincers in place of hands. He explains that he came to Earth in his ship in the future, but was attacked and thrown back eight hundred years into the past. For revenge, he took over a human baby and passed what the Doctor calls a "parasitic infection" down through the generations. Dan and the men on the train were some of the baby's descendants. Dobtcheff needed them to help him retrieve his ship, which is underground. However, his ship is coming through the ground to him, and the Doctor fears it will kill them. It is not strong enough to break through the tunnel, though, so Dobtcheff uses Dan's mind to set the controls to auto destruct, which will destroy half of London. The Doctor has also linked with Dobtcheff, and tells Dan to undo what he just did. Dan successfully reverses the auto destruct, and Dobtcheff has died.
Dan sees the Doctor enter a large blue box, which disappears. Later, Dan wonders about the other possible descendants of Dobtcheff.
- The Doctor plays "Hey Jude" by the Beatles on his recorder.
- The Doctor hypnotises Dan with a gold pocket watch.
- This story is narrated by Dan.
to be added