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The One Doctor was the twenty-seventh monthly Doctor Who audio story produced by Big Finish Productions. It featured Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush. This audio was released in December 2001 and was considered Big Finish's "Christmas release". It has a notably comic slant to the story. It is the first of two Christmas releases in the main range, the second being AUDIO: Bang-Bang-a-Boom!. Both stories feature Mel.

Publisher's summary Edit

When the evil Skelloids launch an attack upon the seventeen worlds of the Generios system, its peace-loving inhabitants face total destruction.

So it's lucky that the Doctor, that famous traveller in time and space, is in the area, and that he, along with his pretty young assistant, Sally-Anne, manages to defeat the deadly creatures and save the day.

But now it looks as though the Doctor's luck has run out.

Who is the mysterious, curly-haired stranger, intent on causing trouble? What role does the feisty redhead Melanie play in his scheme? And what have they to do with the sinister alien cylinder approaching Generios?

One thing is certain: for the Doctor and Sally-Anne, there's deadly danger ahead...

Plot Edit

Part 1 Edit

“At last! I control everything!” the Doctor gloats…over the Monopoly board. Mel is not fond of the melodrama, especially when the Doctor is winning. It’s just as well; he finds the villainous mindset boring. They are interrupted when the TARDIS drifts off course, following a distress signal into the far future, further than its usual range. The signal calls them to the planet of Generios One, the capital of the Generios system, much to the Doctor’s annoyance. They arrive during a celebration, and are accosted by the drunken Citizen Sokkery, who tells them that they were just saved from the alien Skelloids…by the Doctor. And yet, the Doctor doesn’t feel the presence of any future incarnation—so, who actually saved Generios?

They find the mysterious new Doctor at the Great Council Complex, where he is being congratulated by Councillor Potikol, although his explanation of his feat sounds wrong. This Doctor wants to leave, but his companion, one Sally-Anne Stubbins, reminds him that their “Stardis” is not ready to go—it must be repaired, and that requires pluvon crystals. Unfortunately, there are none in the Generios system, but Potikol offers them cash—a hundred million credits, according to Sally-Anne—to purchase some in another system; the new Doctor finally accepts it as a loan. When Potikol leaves to get the money, the new Doctor and Sally-Anne laugh and admit they truth—the “Doctor’s” name is Banto Zame, and they are con artists who have just scammed an entire system. Outside, the real Doctor and Mel arrive, happening across Sokkery again as well. The “Doctor” on Sokkery’s newspaper isn’t any incarnation the real Doctor recognises. He gets Mel to pretend to faint, causing the guards to escort them inside to recover. As soon as the guards are out of sight, they slip away to find the imposter. Meanwhile, Potikol returns after a long wait and says there has been a problem; a piece of space junk has drifted through the system, disrupting the computer links, preventing any withdrawals. The “Doctor” and Sally-Anne fear they’ve been found out, but Potikol is sincere; he says he sent a ship to destroy it, but soon learns that the ship was destroyed.

The real Doctor and Mel find the council chamber, and overhear the imposters planning to buy a planet—Abydos—with the spoils of their crimes. He bursts in and accuses them, but Banto turns the tables on him in front of Potikol by accusing him of the same scam! As the guards escort Mel and the Doctor out, Potikol tells the imposter that the “flotsam” is now headed for Generios One. The “Doctor” must save them again! Meanwhile, the real Doctor and Mel are put in an admittedly comfortable cell. The Doctor fumes over Banto’s cannibalising of his legacy and reputation. He begins to try to get them out, but they are interrupted by a sonic wave that can be heard all over the planet. It is caused by a great UFO, descending toward the council complex. And the Doctor falls victim to the sound wave…

Part 2 Edit

When the sound stops, the UFO—the Cylinder—speaks. It demands the three greatest treasures of Generios as tribute to its masters; if the planet refuses, it will destroy the entire Generios system. It gives them about three hours to cooperate. Banto agrees to gather the treasures, and Potikol has his “Stardis” brought to him so he can go to take care of it. However, Banto secretly believes the Cylinder is a fraud perpetuated by the Doctor; he is only staying around to ensure he receives the hundred million credits.

Having heard the message, the Doctor uses the food dispenser to escape the cell; his decidedly low-tech method—ramming it into the cell door—irks Mel, but it works. He explains that the message is too high-tech and expensive for petty criminals; this threat is real. They make their way back to the council chamber, and see the guards bringing in the “Stardis”. Meanwhile, Potikol gives Banto a list of the treasures, unaware that Banto’s real plan is to track down and eliminate the Doctor and Mel, thinking that that will stop the threat. As Potikol leaves again, the real Doctor and Banto argue, with Banto still believing the Doctor is another fraud, and the Doctor outraged at Banto’s scam—and at the “Stardis”, which is in the shape of not a police box, but a portable toilet. They are interrupted by the Cylinder, which tells them they are losing time; when Banto argues with it, it destroys the eleventh planet of the system, and fires a beam through the chamber, past Sally-Anne’s face. Banto realises that the threat is real, and decides to flee with Sally-Anne. The “Stardis” is actually a short-range teleport, leading in this case to the spaceport; the Doctor and Mel force their way in with Banto and Sally-Anne, coincidentally causing Potikol to see it disappear in a curiously TARDIS-like manner…plus flushing? It’s smaller on the inside, and very uncomfortable for four, but the Doctor reprograms it to take them directly to the TARDIS console room. Banto and Sally-Anne are stunned by the TARDIS, and finally are convinced that they are facing the real Doctor, not an imposter. He tries to leave, giving the list of treasures to the Doctor; but the Doctor has already taken off. He’ll need help finding the treasures, and Banto and Sally-Anne could use a lesson…

The TARDIS lands on Generios Eight, inside a great echoing chamber. The first treasure, called “Unit ZX419”, is supposed to be here. Banto can’t recall what is significant about this world, but there is something. The Doctor leaves Banto with Mel to find the treasure, and takes Sally-Anne to the fourteenth world, as time is short. Banto sees something in the shadows… Meanwhile, on Generios Fourteen, the Doctor and Sally-Anne search for the second treasure, called “Mentos”. They follow some music to a ruin, while Sally flirts with the Doctor; however, she can’t out-talk the Doctor. At a ruined amphitheatre, they see two figures on stage; a woman asks trivia questions, while an elderly man answers them. It seems to be a game of some sort. Back on Generios Eight, Mel and Banto have found that the chamber is a storage complex, full of furniture, which is all marked with alphanumeric codes. Banto remembers the truth: The planet was long ago occupied by a furniture company, which eventually turned over operations to its robots, the Assemblers. The Assemblers went mad, and subsequently killed the entire population. “UNIT ZX419” is probably one of the items here…but the Assemblers are coming out to kill them…

Part 3 Edit

The Assemblers are unimpressed with the organic creatures and their alleged lies, and furious when they find that the humans have come for Unit ZX419, which the Assemblers consider their greatest achievement. However, their leader, Assembler One, relents unexpectedly and says they can have it…if they can assemble it. They place a pile of boards before the humans. Mel and Banto start assembling it—it appears to be a shelf system—but the first section disappears while they work on the next section. And, are the instructions getting longer?

The Doctor concludes the box on which the old man stands must be Mentos. He is partly right; the man himself is Mentos’ real-world interface, and Mentos is a computer that can answer any question asked. It does this by a system of research devices in a shadow universe, which can time-travel to obtain answers. The questioning woman has been playing this game for 33,000 years, long after the death of the audience; and she won’t stop until Mentos misses a question. So far, it never has. She, too, is an electronic simulacrum, and due to an unfortunate and long-dead war, the people who could shut her down are all dead. When the Doctor intervenes, she blasts him with energy. He and Sally-Anne both sink into despair, but soon he comes up with a plan. Meanwhile, Mel and Banto realise that the parts of the unit exist in multiple dimensions, explaining its constant vanishing and reappearing, and the oddities with the instructions. Giving up for a bit, they swap stories, with Mel telling an inspiring story from her childhood Christmases; Banto is inspired by it and decides to try to delay the Assemblers, while Mel reluctantly admits that the story didn’t work out as well as it seems.

The Doctor gets the Questioner to let him ask a few questions, and she allows him two. Mentos forestalls him by announcing that he cannot be stumped by logical conundrums like a lesser computer, and the Doctor fishes for replacement questions. He asks about the wallpaper at 35 Jefferson Road in Woking in 1975, but Mentos finds that question simple. The Doctor then asks about his own three wishes on his 900th birthday; somehow, Mentos gets that one as well (galactic peace, better control of the TARDIS, and manageable hair). Mentos reveals that the Doctor had revealed the information to a cellmate during a subsequent adventure, and that the cellmate was also a projection of Mentos. It seems the computer really is everywhere. However, the Questioner allows Sally-Anne two questions as well. She asks what she told Banto on the night he asked her to marry him; however, Banto has a big mouth, and told many people that Sally admitted she had had breast-enhancement surgery. Ranting, Sally-Anne retorts “What doesn’t Mentos know?” The Doctor seizes on this and insists it is actually her second question. It is the only question he can’t answer, and with the end of the game, he shuts down. He disconnects the box and returns to the TARDIS.

With two minutes before the Assemblers’ deadline, Mel finds a cheat: since the shelves can’t be assembled, the Assemblers can’t know what it is supposed to look like when completed. The instructions never end; therefore they won’t have a final picture. Therefore, when the Assemblers return, they simply claim the project is complete. The Assemblers realise to their chagrin that they can’t prove Mel wrong. The TARDIS rematerialises then, and while the Assemblers go over the instructions, Mel and Banto get the shelves into the TARDIS, and dematerialise. The Assemblers realise that they’ve been beaten by organics; they conclude that this is impossible, and therefore never happened. Therefore they erase the event from memory, and get back to making furniture.

Only 25 minutes remain on the Cylinder’s deadline. Despite ongoing arguing in the TARDIS, the Doctor gets them to the fifteenth planet. The treasure is a large diamond, just lying on the ground—can it be that simple? The Doctor tries to pick it up, but it won’t budge—and a giant amoeba swallows him.

Part 4 Edit

The Doctor isn’t dead. He manages to punch one of the creature’s organs, causing it to spit him out—hurting its…feelings? He realises it can speak, and is actually quite intelligent. It’s a Jelloid, an incredibly long-lived creature; it has a contract to guard the diamond for fifty million years, of which it has completed thirty million. Unfortunately it’s quite lonely, even to the point of writing a song about its loneliness. It’s a pleasant creature, and having heard of the Cylinder’s ultimatum, it agrees to give the Doctor the diamond. However, it will need to go switch off the forcefield over the diamond—and it can’t leave its spot. After all, it’s waiting for a delivery of an entertainment centre, and everyone knows that deliverymen show up as soon as you’re not ready… Sally-Anne offers to watch for the delivery while the Jelloid goes to shut off the forcefield, and it reluctantly agrees. Back on Generios One, Potikol is panicking; the Doctor only has fifteen minutes to return…

The Doctor and Mel go to the TARDIS for the Doctor to change into a clean coat, and Mel stays to set the ship for a quick departure. All four travellers are bothered by the buzzing of an insect. While they are inside, Banto and Sally-Anne argue, and Banto reveals that while he’s been courting Sally-Anne, he’s already been married. When the Doctor comes back, Sally-Anne runs into his arms.

The forcefield goes down, and Banto takes the diamond to the TARDIS while the Doctor stays to thank the Jelloid. However, the creature finds a plaque on the ground, saying that the deliveryman came and left…and the Doctor realises the buzzing was no insect, but a fast-moving Vecton, moving too fast to see. Suddenly Banto—having watched the Doctor—manages to dematerialise the TARDIS, leaving the Doctor and Sally-Anne to face an angry Jelloid. Miffed at the thought of twenty million more years without even an entertainment centre, it COULD teleport them back to Generios One, but why? They are its first company in millennia. The Doctor promises that if it sends them on their way, he will use his TARDIS and bring an entertainment centre himself—within five minutes of his departure. The Jelloid agrees, and it sends them back to Generios One.

Mel furiously orders Banto to go back for the Doctor, but he knocks her off balance by asking her to marry him (causing her to lie and claim to be an android, but he doesn’t buy it). Thus the TARDIS arrives back at the council chamber just as the deadline expires. Its appearance surprises Potikol, but he accepts that Banto is the Doctor. The real Doctor and Sally-Anne arrive at the same time, and the four present the treasures to the Cylinder. The Cylinder accepts the tribute, and asks the Doctor to step forward to be rewarded; Banto claims the title, and the Doctor allows it. The Doctor insists, against Mel and Sally-Anne’s objections, that he is in fact Banto, and Banto is the one true Doctor; he kisses Sally-Anne as evidence, which convinces the Cylinder. It traps Banto—the real Banto—in a tractor beam, and admits that its real purpose was to capture the Doctor all along; the quest was just a means of identifying the Doctor. It will now place the “Doctor” in a time bubble and take him to its homeworld, Chalzon, to face its masters, the Sussyurats, and answer for his crimes. The Cylinder apologises to the Generians and departs with Banto.

Potikol still believes that Banto was the Doctor, and tells the people that the Doctor gave up his freedom for the sake of Generios. The Doctor explains to Mel and Sally-Anne that he had figured out the truth, and let Banto be caught in his own web. Sally-Anne—saddened that the kiss wasn’t real—is called out to let the crows show its gratitude to her in the absence of the “Doctor”; after all, as the Doctor points out, for a short while she really was his companion, and handled it well. She accepts the crowd’s praise…and the hundred million credits, of course. As the Doctor and Mel prepare to leave, he says that he’s never met the Sussyurats before, but will be sure to annoy them when he does—but first they have an entertainment centre to deliver, and a game to finish…and oh yes, Banto to rescue—eventually. After all, there’s only room for the one Doctor in this universe.

Cast Edit

References Edit

The Doctor Edit

Individuals Edit

Locations Edit

Species Edit

Planets Edit

Dwm312 theonedoctor

Illustration by Lee Sullivan from DWM 312.

Objects Edit

Three Great Treasures of Generios Edit

  • UNIT ZX419, also known as the Shelves of Infinity, are infinite and therefore impossible to put up.
  • Mentos; or rather the control box to Mentos.
  • The largest diamond in existence.

Notes Edit


Art by Roger Langridge from DWM 314

  • This is the first of Big Finish Productions' "Christmas releases" stories. They are a bit more light-hearted than other releases. The following year's Christmas release was Bang-Bang-a-Boom!, a story again parodying popular media-culture. In years following Bang-Bang-a-Boom!'s release, Big Finish offered subscriber only special releases, although those tended to cover all genres rather than the lighter-toned style that this story and Bang-Bang-a-Boom use.
  • The title of this story is a reference towards the tendencies for Multi-Doctor stories to feature the number of Doctors in the story within the title (including such stories as TV: The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors, PROSE: The Eight Doctors, AUDIO: The Four Doctors, COMIC: Four Doctors). In this case, the title jokingly hints that the extra Doctor included within the story will be revealed to be a fake, meaning that the Sixth Doctor is the one Doctor within the story.
  • The third episode features the alternative Delaware version of the Doctor Who theme tune, a nod to the overseas print of TV: Carnival of Monsters.
  • This audio drama was recorded on 28 and 29 April 2001.
  • The second CD contains a bonus track containing two scenes. In the first of these, the Doctor and Mel attempt to use the Time-Space Visualiser to watch The Queen's Speech, but accidentally tune in to Elizabeth I. In the second, the Questioner asks Mentos a number of questions from throughout time and space. Both scenes end with the characters wishing Merry Christmas "to all of you at home". (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan) The bonus track was posted on Big Finish's official Soundcloud in December 2012. [1]
  • Jim Mortimore and Jane Elphinstone's score to this story, alongside the score to Bloodtide and Project: Twilight, was released on the CD Music from the Sixth Doctor Audio Adventures.

Continuity Edit

External links Edit

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