|The Touch of the Nurazh|
|Part of:||Short Trips: Monsters|
|Short Trips short stories|
The Touch of the Nurazh was the fourth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Monsters. It was written by Stephen Hatcher. It featured the Third Doctor and Jo Grant. Notably, it depicted the Third Doctor regenerating prematurely before his demise in TV: Planet of the Spiders, but his regeneration was reversed before it completely took hold.
Jo Grant goes to visit her uncle, Jack Canning, at Kenstone Hall. It is a convalescent home for intelligence operatives who have been wounded in the line of duty. It is not easy to gain admittance, but Jo has a UNIT pass. As she talks with Jack, she notices that his injured leg is much better. She also notices that Tom Berkeley, an old UNIT acquaintance who has been paralysed, is much better as well. She is shocked to see that Ted Parrish, a friend of Jack's, has actually regrown his missing hand. She thinks she might be mistaken, and when she asks Jack about it, he seems confused.
As Matron Caxton leads Jo out the door, they are watched from an upstairs window. Jo drives off in a taxi. The car stops in the middle of railroad tracks, and Jo realises that the driver is dead and a train is fast approaching. The doors are locked but she manages to pull the driver out of the way and move the car just in time.
Back at UNIT HQ, Jo briefs the Doctor and the Brigadier. The Doctor considers, then dismisses, the idea of the Master's involvement. The Brigadier is concerned that many of the patients at Kenstone are Britain's best deep-cover agents. Sergeant Benton informs the group that Jo's "driver" was actually a Kenstone resident.
The Doctor and Jo head for Kenstone to visit its founder, Professor Geoffrey Thynne, but are denied. They leave, but plan to sneak in. They do so, unaware that they are being observed.
They sneak into Jack's room. He appears to be in some sort of dream state, but mentions the word "Nurazh". Before the Doctor can explain to Jo, they are seized by Jack and six other residents and strapped to hospital trolleys. The Doctor explains that the Nurazh are mind parasites that feed off mental energy and leave planets desolate when they have drained the energy from all life forms.
Matron Caxton and Jack enter the room, accompanied by "Professor Thynne" — the Master, to no one's surprise. He explains that he found the weakened Nurazh on an empty planet and gloats that the Nurazh will help him control an army to take over Earth. The Doctor tries to warn him that it can't be trusted. The Nurazh, occupying Caxton, begins to control Jo's mind. The Doctor plants a telepathic trigger in her mind, but she is soon taken over.
She has some trouble taking over the Doctor, as he is fighting her. They leave him alone and she and the Master discuss their plans. The Master learns the Doctor was right about the Nurazh — it has no interest in conquest. It tries to control the Master, and in fear he heads for a nearby filing cabinet — his TARDIS — and leaves. On the way out, he yells that he "will remember"; the word "remember" releases Jo from the Nurazh's control. It is weakened from its attempts to control the Doctor and the Master, and Jo sneaks out unnoticed, freeing the Doctor.
The Nurazh sends the controlled residents after them, who chase them to the roof. The Nurazh confronts the Doctor, and the two fight near the edge of the roof. They fall several stories; Miss Caxton is dead. The Nurazh leaves her and enters the Doctor, who has also apparently "died" and starts to change into a new man. As Jo watches, the Doctor starts to change, then changes back. He wakes and tells her the Nurazh is dead. The residents are back to normal, though very confused.
Later, the Doctor explains to Jo and the Brigadier that while he was in the process of changing, there were two Time Lord minds in his body, temporarily. It was too much for the Nurazh to handle, and it died. The Doctor stops Jo from making too detailed a description of what his future self will look like.
- Third Doctor
- Jo Grant
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
- Sergeant Benton
- The Master
- Jack Canning
- Ted Parrish
- Miss Caxton
- Tony Maple
- Tom Berkeley
- Captain Kevin Charlton
- The Master masquerades as Professor Geoffrey Thynne after murdering the real Thynne with the Tissue Compression Eliminator.
- The Master's TARDIS is disguised as a filing cabinet.
- The Nurazh come from the Horsehead Nebula.
- Jo is Jack Canning's only niece, the daughter of his sister.
- The Doctor tells Jo to think of her family and friends, including the Brigadier, Sergeant Benton and Mike Yates.
- The Third Doctor begins to regenerate after falling from a roof. Jo Grant briefly sees the Fourth Doctor and describes him to the Doctor as "all teeth and curls". This explains his description of the Fourth Doctor in The Five Doctors without (seemingly) ever having met him.
- The Third Doctor and Jo previously met the Fourth Doctor when he stumbled upon a crisis with the Sea Devils which they resolved. On that occasion the Fourth Doctor adopted an alias to keep his identity secret from Jo and his previous self. (COMIC: Under Pressure)
- In between visits to her Uncle Jack, Jo has adventures involving Sea Devils (TV: The Sea Devils) and the planet Solos. (TV: The Mutants)