- You may wish to consult
time machine (disambiguation)for other, similarly-named pages.
Publisher's summary Edit
The scientist and his assistant believe they are making history, little suspecting that the project's completion will threaten the existence of the entire universe. But someone has sensed the danger, and when the mysterious Doctor arrives, Alice is taken on a desperate race from libraries and dreaming spires all the way to the nightmare world of Earth's future.
The monstrous Creevix are coming. They seek control of time itself and are certain that the Doctor is already too late to stop them. But can the key to saving the future lie in the Time Lord's past lives?
November 23, 2013: Alice Watson is late for an appointment at Oxford. In her rush, she bumps into a young man in a bowtie, who is texting someone. In a nearby lab, Professor Cedric Chivers is at work on his device while he waits for Alice; on his desk sits a smoky, glassy cube—a Time Lord hypercube, though he doesn't know it. The cube has given him, and continues to give, instructions for the construction of the machine—and the voice it uses is Chivers' own. As Alice arrives, she meets the man in the bowtie again, who introduces himself as the Doctor. She thinks he is from Cambridge (or possibly Yale or Osaka), and he plays along, claiming to be from St. Cedd's, class of 1980. She accompanies him to meet Chivers, and see his machine... his time machine.
The Doctor asserts that the machine should not exist. He notes the hypercube, which Alice describes as a communication device. He warns her that the machine is impossible, and should scare her. Chivers joins them; the Doctor says he is here to dismantle the time machine. The Doctor confronts Chivers about his lack of real understanding of how the machine works; Chivers claims he trusts the instructions because they are coming from himself in the future. The Doctor inquires about the hypercube, calling it by name; Chivers says it arrived with the first parts of the machine. Chivers admits the cube represents a time loop, and says he intends to dismantle it himself—once he uses it to send the instructions and parts back to himself. Alice insists it can be duplicated repeatedly as long as every user does the same as Chivers. The Doctor takes the cube, and in response, something begins to materialise. A large, insectoid creature appears by the machine; Alice sees it, but Chivers cannot, because he is inside the causal loop. The creature and its people are the Creevix; the Doctor does not know them, but the creature claims the Doctor cannot stop them, because they are "already here". Five more join the first. Suddenly the creatures vanish.
The Doctor says he sensed something wrong, which drew him here. He invites Alice to come with him. The Creevix reappear behind Chivers, who still can't see them; the Doctor tells Alice to run. Outside, they see more Creevix mixed among the humans in the area. In a nearby library, they descend to the basement, where the creatures continue to hunt them.
Back in the lab, Chivers unwraps the final component of the machine—the Time Core—and its schematics. He starts to install it.
In the Library, the Doctor leads Alice to the TARDIS; despite her lack of knowledge of fiction, she has a suitably impressed reaction to the ship's larger interior. He tells her it is a real time machine, more so than the one in the lab. He begins trying to track the source of the hypercube's messages—but the cube vanishes. He takes the TARDIS to track it.
Chivers finishes installing the Time Core. He prepares to enter the machine—but one of the Creevix manifests itself to him, forcing him to admit the Doctor and Alice were right. The Creevix tells him one word: "Wait."
The TARDIS gets stuck in the vortex, somehow—something is choking off passage, allowing them to travel only twenty years forward or backward of their starting point. They materialise back in Oxford, in the future, as the cloister bell sounds. In this future, the Creevix have overrun everything, and are visible everywhere. Copies of the time machine are all over the place, and more appear as they watch—the many copies are what has jammed the vortex. Each machine discharges another Creevix. They say they will consume the universe, as it is fractured, which is what allowed them to enter from their own universe. In that universe, they claim to be the masters of Time, and they are aware of the Time Lords. One Creevix takes a strand of Alice's hair; the Doctor says that it is absorbing her potential time, her future. It says that if it did the same to the Doctor, and killed him, the future becomes unclear. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to disorient the creatures, inflaming their sense of time. The Creevix block access to the TARDIS, but the Doctor and Alice take one of the other time machines.
Elsewhere—and elsewhen—a man named Guy Taylor is in a time machine of his own. He works for the Time Agency, and is about to embark on his first mission, to resolve an anomaly in the 20th century. He takes a moment to reflect on his parents, who were early explorers.
In the glove box of Doctor and Alice's machine, they find a photo of a couple, whom the Doctor finds familiar. Alice discusses her own past and her obsession with science and facts, and her father's disappointment in her. The Doctor finds Guy Taylor's Time Agency ID card, and concludes the couple are Taylor's parents. The machine represents a paradox, but the paradox had to start somewhere—in Taylor's time. Also in the glovebox is a copy of the hypercube. The Doctor and Alice send the machine back to its point of origin—Guy's future.
In Guy's machine, something is wrong. He sees Alice's reflection in the canopy, with Creevix outside—and then he ceases to exist.
In the other machine, Alice sees Guy, and sees him vanish. A Creevix pulls them from the machine, and they see a devastated world covered in Creevix. It tells them it is the end of their universe. The Creevix demonstrates that it can anticipate their every thought and word. It tells them that they come from another universe, and that they were able to come through because the Doctor's TARDIS struck Guy's capsule in the vortex, creating a crack in the universe. This pushed Guy's capsule into the Creevix universe, allowing them to force their way back through—and formulate this plan. Now they have devoured all life in the universe; and they have manipulated the Doctor to that moment in order to retroactively set the plan into motion.
They entrap the Doctor, rendering him immobile to witness the death of his universe. They also seal off the TARDIS. They give Alice the hypercube and send her back to deliver it to Chivers, just a few minutes or hours into his future, where he will start the loop by sending it back in time with the capsule and instructions. She is forced to go.
Once she arrives, she gives the cube to Chivers, and three Creevix are present as well. However, they are interrupted by the Doctor! He gives a lengthy-but-rapid rundown of his plan and how he has outwitted the Creevix. In the middle of it, the TARDIS is heard; the Doctor says it was breaking free of the Creevix's trap in the future, materialising around his frozen form, and transporting him to just minutes before this confrontation. Hidden in the room are a psychokinetic manipulator, and the chunk of therocite; the Doctor uses the manipulator to hurl the therocite at a structural weak point in the capsule, destroying it. This breaks the temporal loop, creating a void which sucks in all the wreckage of the capsule, the Creevix, and—finally—the hypercube, blasting them back to the Creevix's home universe. In the future, the hordes of Creevix will never exist, as that timeline now ceases to exist.
At the last moment, another capsule materialises—and Guy Taylor steps out. For him, it's only been a moment since he left his own time; he is quite surprised to find a welcoming party. He witnesses as the Doctor reintroduces himself to Professor Chivers, or Cedric, as Susan once knew him—and reflects on how Chivers' life has changed. In the end, Alice is offered a chance to travel with the Doctor; but she declines. She asks, instead, to travel with Taylor, who grants her request.
- The Time Agency was set up at some point after the 42nd century. Anomaly trackers are standard issue equipment for them.
- The Doctor mentions Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes and Back to the Future.
- Chivers had Ian Chesterton as a science teacher.
- Originally scheduled for release on CD in early November 2013, the release was put on hold due to publisher AudioGo going into administration in October 2013. A download copy of the story was released by audiobook sites Audible and iTunes, and later by Big Finish Productions. On 18 November, Big Finish announced that it would be releasing the CD version as well. The packaging for the Big Finish release omits any mention of AudioGO, though a credit for the company is still read by Coleman.
- Unusually, despite it being read by Jenna Coleman, the character of Clara does not appear, her place taken by one-off companion Alice Watson (also performed by Coleman).
- This story was recorded on 14 June 2013.
- The first name of Police Chief McNeil is James in AUDIO: Night of the Whisper and Joseph in this story.
- The person who introduced Cedric Chivers to the Bob Dylan music was Susan Foreman in AUDIO: Hunters of Earth. However, in this story, the Doctor claimed that his first incarnation was the one who did so. The Doctor was partially telling the truth, as Susan only introduced Cedric to the music because of the message she had received from the Eleventh Doctor. In the message, he had said, "It's blowing in the wind," referring to the Bob Dylan song, Blowin' In The Wind, which is the song that the Doctor had Alice quote lyrics from to Cedric.
- The existence of the Time Lord hypercube is an ontological paradox, also known as a bootstrap paradox. The cube that the Seventh Doctor gave to OhOne was sent to him by the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS, which the Eleventh Doctor got from Professor Chivers, who received the cube from Alice Watson, who got it from the Eleventh Doctor, who retrieved the cube from Guy Taylor's time machine, which had been put there by Guy Taylor, who got it from his father, OhOne, who received it from the Seventh Doctor. As such, the cube has no discernible origin.
- The Doctor's plan from throughout the Destiny of the Doctor series is revealed to have been laid out as such:
- He gets Cedric Chivers to remember him by quoting lyrics from a Bob Dylan song, which the First Doctor introduced Chivers to while Chivers was still a student at Coal Hill School. (AUDIO: Hunters of Earth) The Bob Dylan song changed Cedric's life, as he attended concerts, through which he met his wife, Joyce. They would go on to have children, who would have children of their own. As such, Cedric hesitates when the time comes for him to use the time machine, as he thinks of his family, and the potential risk of them losing him. This hesitation allows the Doctor to stop the Creevix.
- An artificial copy of the Fourth Doctor inside the Babblesphere (AUDIO: Babblesphere) sent messages through time influencing the Creevix to seek out Chivers. The messages would not have reached the Creevix, nor the psychic messages the Eleventh Doctor was sending to his former incarnations, however, had the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard not cleared up some interference in the form of an alien invasion using the William Tell Overture to invade the Earth in 1935 (AUDIO: Enemy Aliens), nor if the museum that the Babblesphere was stored at hadn't been capable of sending sub-pulsar transmissions, which was only made possible because the Second Doctor saved Sophie Topolovic's research on the Quiet Ones. (AUDIO: Shadow of Death)
- Guy Taylor - the man at the centre of the Creevixs' plan - is the son of OhOne (AUDIO: Shockwave) and Lyric Erskine (AUDIO: Death's Deal), who were saved by Ace McShane and Donna Noble respectively. Lyric and OhOne conceived Guy during their second honeymoon at the Memorial Hotel - which was founded by Joseph McNeil after the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler, and Jack Harkness ensured he lived to became mayor of New Vegas. (AUDIO: Night of the Whisper)
- After the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan Jovanka returned the Ovid sphere to the Ovids, the Ovids were so impressed with the efforts of Tegan in particular that they shared their knowledge of psychokinesis with humanity in the far future. (AUDIO: Smoke and Mirrors) The Doctor uses technology invented using this knowledge to throw a chunk of super-dense therocite - saved from destruction by the Third Doctor and Mike Yates (AUDIO: Vengeance of the Stones) - at Chivers' time machine, destroying it.
- The Doctor's TARDIS is able to break free from the Creevixs' trap because of the omniparadox stored away inside it by the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown. (AUDIO: Trouble in Paradise)
- The Doctor tells Cedric that he doesn't know where he is going, meaning the Doctor has not yet visited Trenzalore. (TV: The Name of the Doctor) Whether he is at a point before he meets Clara Oswald (TV: The Bells of Saint John) or in between any of his adventures with her is unknown.
- The Doctor says he went to St Cedd's College when Alice asks if he was from the University of Cambridge. (AUDIO: Shada)