Publisher's summary Edit
Laylora — the Paradise Planet. A world of breath-taking beauty, where the peace-loving inhabitants live in harmony with their environment, Or do they? The Doctor and Rose arrive to find that the once perfect eco-system is showing signs of failing. The Paradise Planet has become a death trap as terrifying creatures from ancient legends appear and stalk the land.
Is there a connection between the human explorers who have crash-landed and the savage monsters? What secret lies at the heart of the natives' ancient ceremonies? And what price might one human have to pay to save the only home he has ever known?
Sister Serenta returns from walking on a beach to rejoin the rest of her group in the forest, only to find a terrible creature. It chases her until she finally trips. Serenta gets a clear view of the creature before it knocks her unconscious — it's a Witiku!
The Tenth Doctor and Rose relax in the TARDIS, playing snooker to pass the time as the controls re-calibrate from their previous adventure. The Tribe of the Three Valleys search for the missing youths and Brother Hugan prays to their goddess for their safe return. Just then, the ground quakes and Hugan comes to the conclusion the she must be angry at the tribe.
Soon after their search ends in failure, the SS Humphrey Bogart jumps from hyperspace, navigates through an asteroid belt, and approaches the paradise planet so long sought after by captain Petra Shulough. However, the planet reacts violently to the ship's presence, sending out an EMP which disables the Humphrey Bogart. Jonn Hespell manages to send out an SOS as the ship is dragged into the atmosphere.
Inside the TARDIS, the SOS is heard, and the Doctor responds by materialising near the source of the alarm. Upon stepping out, Rose is immediately distracted by the planet's beauty. Lush green forests and snow capped mountains beyond them to her right, a perfect white sand beach and turquoise ocean to her left. The Doctor must remind her of why they're there, pointing the column of smoke in the distance.
Aboard the Humphrey Bogart, the crew suffers few injuries with minimal damage to the ship thanks to Kendle's fancy flying. Once emergency power is activated, professor Shulough confirms it. They have landed on Laylora.
The Doctor and Rose are enjoying their walk through the forest, following the readings on the sonic screwdriver, when they stumble upon some ruins. They are both impressed; however the Doctor notices a flower, still with a head on it, crushed by a stone. Rose deduces that the stone must've fallen on it recently. The Doctor nods, saying, "This planet may not be as benevolent as we first thought!"
Kaylen finds her mother, Jaelette, cleaning up after the tremor. There was minimal damage to the village, but still plenty to do. Kaylen has a brief discussion with her mother, who shares her views about the village leaders being only men, disliking the fact because Laylora is female.
Rose and the Doctor continue to explore the ruins, finding a tall cathedral-like building, its sides covered with carved panels. The carvings feature stick people, animals, and monsters. The Doctor is so intrigued that Rose reminds him that they have an emergency to attend to. The Doctor shifts his attention back to their original purpose; however he can't seem to get a reading on the sonic screwdriver, so he climbs up the side of the temple in order to get a view of his surroundings. He drops his coat down for Rose to take care of, which she fails to catch, and is promptly knocked over by its surprising weight. Rose struggles out from under the coat, folds it, and sits on it. She's tempted to try some fruit from a nearby bush, but remembers the Rule of Space-Time Travel No. 10: don't eat anything unless you're sure it's totally safe. Unless it's a badly cooked kronkburger — in which case don't eat it at all.
While the Doctor makes his way across the roof, Rose begins to relax; but then she hears a strange noise. Feeling less at ease, she searches the pockets of the coat, and, after sifting through some useless baubles, comes up with naught but a torch. Torch in hand, moving towards the noise, she is surprised by a large, hairy beast, waving its talons. Stepping back, tripping and dropping the torch, she cries out as the beast closes in...
Kendle takes Hespell out to examine the exterior of the ship which seems to have no serious damage when Hespell notices movement at the edge of the clearing created by their ship as it crashed. Suddenly, a not so friendly native moves swiftly out of the forest towards them. They both sprint for the airlock, Kendle risking a look over his shoulder, and noticing there are not one, but three monsters after them. He makes it to the airlock and Hespell hits the controls. The doors slide shut with a hiss as Hespell gets on the comms to alert the crew of the attack. Professor Shulough responds to this with annoyance and refuses to leave the planet. She tells Kendle to defend the ship.
Rose is still rolling about on the ground, waiting for claws to come slicing down when she hears a voice and looks up. The monster is attempting to pull its own head off, and then she realises it is a costume! Underneath the mask was a handsome young lad with short, spiky, blond hair, blue eyes and tanned skin. The boy reacts in surprise when he realises that Rose is a human too. They introduce themselves; the boy is named Rez.
Back in the Humphrey Bogart, the crew watch as the creatures slice through the exterior cameras. Kendle comes up with the idea of electrifying the hull. This sends the attackers flying. They retreat, but Kendle knows that they will be back. With that happy note, they decide to take the offensive. Kendle, Hespell and Ania grab weapons and move out. They eventually come upon some ruins, and Hespell spots a figure on a roof. He takes aim...
The Doctor was climbing down when he saw the humans, creeping and dashing around, carrying guns. He'd better climb down and defuse the situation before anyone got shot. The Doctor doesn't even finish the though when he gets hit by a blast. Immediately stunned, he staggers, falls, and rolls off the roof. The humans come and collect him, carrying him off to the ship. Rose witnesses this, but Rez stops her and takes her to the village.
At the village, Rose notices that the Laylorans are not human, Rez is the only one living there who is. They take Rose to the shaman, Brother Hugan, who suggests sacrificing Rose to appease Laylora. Rez and Sister Jaelette step to her defence.
On the Humphrey Bogart, the Doctor is taken prisoner and kept in Hespell's cabin. Hespell tells him about the attack. The Doctor is questioned by Kendle, but after an hour of blabbing, Kendle still hasn't gotten any information at all. Shulough comes to question the Doctor, and rather has him untied and gives him a tour of the ship, telling him about it and the planet.
Meanwhile, Jae Collins is on his way to repair the environmental systems, thinking of how he is stuck on this ship because of his past. He smells smoke, but the sprinkler systems seem to be off-line too. Awhile later, the Doctor faintly smells smoke. They rush to the room Collins was in and pry open the doors. After extinguishing the fire, they find Collins dead.
Back at the village, Rose is now given the hospitality of the villagers, mainly Rez, who gives her food and a cup of Jinnera. Most of the villagers are sleeping. They talk about Witiku, when suddenly razor sharp talons tear into the tent. The village is being attacked by Witiku! Rose throws a cup of Jinnera at one and it reacts with pain. Hugan and the tribe leaders usher the villagers to safety, but the Witiku carry many of them away.
The Doctor goes around fixing things and is shown the emergency generator. It's a micro-fusion generator, and the waste is not being contained. The Witiku attack again, this time with larger numbers. The Doctor allows them into the ship and they smash the generator. All at once the Witiku stop attacking the ship. Ania Baker is injured during the attack, and a Witiku is stunned and captured.
Upon waking the next morning, Rose explores the temple and the tunnels beneath it. Eventually she and Rez head off to find the Humphrey Bogart.
The Doctor examines the Witiku, noticing the strange necklace it is wearing. He goes outside to meet with Rose and Rose's new friend, Rez. Rose and the Doctor swap stories. Inside the hold, the Witiku begins to stir, unnoticed by its guard, Hespell. The Doctor begins to make a solution from the Jinnen Beans to fight the Witiku, when the Witiku in the hold tries to escape. The Doctor uses the solution and the Witiku transforms into Brother Hugan! Hugan escapes from the ship, flees and winds up going to the temple.
Rose takes the Professor to the storerooms of trisilicate, but they are troubled along the way. Shulough falls down a pit, Rose tackles the attacking Witiku into the pit, and they run for the temple. They are finally surrounded and climb through a widow to escape. They go to the tunnels, but the Witiku are there too. They become cornered in a room full of trisilicate.
Back at the ship, the Doctor finally realises the problem, the planet is allergic to them! They all set out to hunt the Witiku with a Jinnera solution. They enter the tunnels and come across the two women; but the solution fails to work. Ania, Hespell, and Rez flee while Kendle and the Doctor join Rose and Shulough at the top of the pile. They realise the room is like a coal cellar and Rose and Shulough climb out, but are ambushed by Hugan. They leave the Doctor and Kendle behind, however the villagers come to the rescue with spears tipped with Jinnen paste.
Inside the temple, Professor Shulough is tied up, and Brother Hugan prepares to sacrifice Rose. The Doctor strides into the room, followed by the crew and villagers who hang back to allow the Doctor to have Hugan's attention. The Doctor distracts the shaman and Rose flees from the altar as Rez, who had been sneaking around the edge of the room, accidentally pushes a statue over, and it crushes the altar. Just then, an earthquake hits, and everyone flees. Rose, Rez, and Kendle become separated and are the only ones who can't make it out with the rest of the group. The trio runs through the tunnels, trying to find a way out.
Back in the temple, Brother Hugan climbs out from under some rubble and changes into a Witiku once more...
Rez leads the group to a circular chamber with stairs; they all begin to climb as they hear a roar behind them. They make it to the top. Kendle guards the interior stairs, but the Witiku smashes its ways onto the exterior ones and climbs to the top. A shadow falls over the tower; it's the Humphrey Bogart! Rez and Rose leap to the airlock, and as Hugan goes to follow them, Kendle tackles him from behind. They begin to fight, and Kendle drags them both off the tower.
Everyone says their farewells, the Humphrey Bogart departs, taking Rez along, and the Doctor and Rose go off on their next adventure.
- Tenth Doctor
- Rose Tyler
- Professor Shulough
- Brother Hugan
- Ania Baker
- Jonn Hespell
- Jae Collins
- In his pockets, the Doctor carries a couple of yo-yos, a packet of boiled sweets, a pack of playing cards, a conker, a toy car, a banana and a cricket ball.
- This is Rose's last novel appearance.
- This story was also released as an ebook available from the Amazon Kindle store.
- Rose asks if the SOS signal is a mauve alert (amongst other colours), said by the Ninth Doctor to be an intergalactic signal for danger. (TV: The Empty Child)
- The Moxx of Balhoon and the Ood are mentioned. (TV: The End of the World, The Impossible Planet, The Satan Pit)
- Rose compares Witiku to the Werewolf. (TV: Tooth and Claw)
- Rose rummages through the Doctor's pockets and notices that they are bigger on the inside, like the TARDIS. Donna Noble later mentions this. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
- Trisilicate Crystals are used to power the Humphrey Bogart, and are found in abundance on Laylora. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
- Rose tells Rez, "You can trust me on this", thinking of her father, a reference to the alternate-world Peter Tyler who used the phrase as his catchphrase. (TV: Rise of the Cybermen)
- Rose remembers their visit to ancient Rome. (PROSE: The Stone Rose)
- Rose recalls she once hid in a cupboard in 10 Downing Street while the house fell apart around her. (TV: World War Three)
- The Eighth Doctor saved a sentient planet in PROSE: Grimm Reality
Audio release Edit
An abridged reading of the story was released as an audiobook on 2x CD read by Shaun Dingwall.
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Price of Paradise at The Whoniverse
- The Cloister Library: The Price of Paradise