a real world point of view
|Main setting:||Putney, 1980s|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Magazine 163|
|Living in the Past|
The Doctor takes Ace to a present-day London pub in autumn, landing the TARDIS in the pub basement. The Doctor busies himself on the pub's trivia machine before going over to talk to a woman sitting on her own with a bunch of carnations. He sends Ace over to engage a guy at the bar sitting on his own. The guy with the Irish accent who describes himself as "half-tough, half-confident" is called Liam O'erspace. As they chat, they are interrupted by the arrival of Ace's former gangmembers - Jack (white fanboy), King (black confidence), and Queen (hard white girl), less Joker, who had since died of drugs. Ace had hung out with the gang for a while before returning to her Perivale gang. The gang know Liam quite well, a space visitor from Algol. A fight breaks out between Ace and the gang and Ace, held at knifepoint by Queen, is about to be sacrificed for her psychic energy, enough to power Liam's signalling device and get him home. The Doctor's table suddenly erupts in a flash as the Doctor's table-mate produces a now melted gun from the carnation's ashes. Liam instantly recognises her as Arishma, and likewise draws a gun. But before the two can kill each other, the Doctor intervenes, giving them both a choice. Liam accepts the chance of a new life away from the bad company he has fallen in with. He returns with his former love, sent to take him back to Algol. The Doctor and Ace leave to the sound of sirens outside.
Later in the TARDIS the Doctor, talks with Ace about the impact of visitors to Earth and the destabilising effects it can have on global economies resulting from 'gambling' on known outcomes. Without their intervention, in the pub, Liam and Arishma would have spent decades keeping their distance, playing with the planet and friends, with no good coming of it.
- The Doctor orders a brandy, but doesn't drink it.
- Economies respond in odd ways when time travellers place bets on events when they already know the outcome; this happened in Berlin.
- Algol is home to a humanoid race.
- Illustrations by Cam Smith.
- Outside of Brief Encounter and Preludes, this was the last original text story until Meridians.