The Vengeance of Morbius was the eighth and final story in the second series of the Eighth Doctor Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Nicholas Briggs and featured Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Sheridan Smith as Lucie Miller.
It featured Morbius who had last appeared in the 2002 novel Warmonger and was introduced in the 1976 television story The Brain of Morbius. This was the first time that Morbius had appeared in an audio story and the first time since 1976 that he had appeared in a performed production.
Publisher's summary Edit
The Universe is in grave danger.
The very fabric of time and space is being altered.
The Doctor and Lucie must race against time to prevent the destruction of everything they hold dear. They may have to sacrifice everything to save the Universe.
Desperate to avoid molecular dispersal, the Doctor and Lucie compare notes with the Sisterhood regarding Morbius, Zarodnix, and the Cult of Morbius. The full story begins to come together — while on Karn, Zarodnix is arriving at level — 1.087, the main laboratory. Orthena explains to the Doctor and Lucie that Zarodnix forced the Sisterhood off Karn, then mined the planet surface, searching for artefacts of Morbius. Haspira was sent to infiltrate Zarodnix's corporation; doing so, she befriended the Trell, but then learned that Zarodnix plans to revive Morbius. Meanwhile, Zarodnix enters the lab and learns that the latest extraction experiment was a success; with his Trell, he prepares to complete his vision. He is interrupted by Haspira's ship about to land; he tells the Trell to either arrest or kill the occupants, as they may wish. On the ship, Straxus grows more frightened as the ship lands; Rosto fails to understand his fear.
The Doctor explains that Morbius's brain fell into a canyon and was destroyed centuries earlier. Orthena agrees, but says that Zarodnix has been scouring space and time to try to capture a Time Lord. Unknown to them, at that moment Zarodnix is detecting the presence of one in the ship on the surface of Karn. Meanwhile, Orthena explains that Gallifrey has recalled all Time Lords and secured itself, which explains the Time Scoop that came for the Doctor; as he dodged the Time Scoop, he now owes Haspira his life for rescuing him. However, now Haspira is urgent to have him executed. She forces the Doctor and Lucie into the chamber, and Orthena orders her to switch it on. Meanwhile Zarodnix’s Trell break into Haspira's ship and inject Rosto with augmentation nanocytes, causing him to collapse. They then turn on Strax.
The dispersal chamber activates, leaving the Doctor about 37 seconds to escape. Lucie reveals the Time Ring, and the Doctor activates it. An alarm sounds, indicating conflict between the Ring and the dispersal chamber. However, it slows down, and the chamber powers up again; it grows hot inside as their molecules are agitated. The Doctor bangs on the door and tells the Sisters that Zarodnix already has a Time Lord. Orthena lets them out, and he tells them about Straxus; Haspira confirms that her ship is near Karn. Meanwhile Straxus is taken to Zarodnix, who scans him to confirm his identity. Zarodnix dismisses concerns about the High Council on Gallifrey, and has Straxus taken away for the procedure.
Haspira still wants to kill the Doctor and Lucie, giving Lucie cause to re-evaluate her initial impression of the woman. The Doctor points out what must have happened: in mining the surface of Karn, Zarodnix must have found a fragment of Morbius's brain — but why does he need a Time Lord? Meanwhile, Straxus is strapped onto a machine in Zarodnix's laboratory. Zarodnix mocks him and the other Time Lords, then says that Straxus will help him resurrect Morbius.
The Doctor theorises that Zarodnix will use genetic fusing— like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, DNA from Morbius's brain can be fused with Straxus's Time Lord body to resurrect the dead tyrant. Orthena admits that Zarodnix's money has probably given him access to the necessary knowledge, culled from across the known universe. As Morbius's essentials will be contained in even a fragment of his brain, the plan can work — therefore Straxus must be rescued at once. Orthena starts a teleportation chant, but the Doctor says that Karn will be shielded; however, the TARDIS can take him there by locking onto the coordinates in the Time Ring. Meanwhile Straxus begs Zarodnix to stop, but it is no use; Zarodnix states that Morbius's reputation is false, based on propaganda, and so he will resurrect him using living Time Lord DNA. He also has Morbius's presidential robes, as well as cells from the brain.
Orthena overrules Haspira's objections and takes the Doctor and Lucie to the TARDIS, sending them on a mission to prevent Morbius's rise. She promises that the Sisterhood will watch over them; once in the TARDIS, Lucie asks about this, and the Doctor says that no one knows the full extent of the Sisterhood's psychic power. He explains that they can't go back to the ship before it reaches Karn; this would require crossing his own timeline, which may have already happened earlier — this may be what caused the power to blink out in the TARDIS. However, he decides to try it anyway, and prepares. However, they are intercepted by the Time Scoop, which disables the controls and starts to pull them in.
The TARDIS materialises on Gallifrey, in a holding area. Bulek calls to them, and explains that other Time Lords are in isolation; but his fear of Morbius is obvious. Lucie reminds him that Straxus is in trouble, but he is unwilling to let them break the laws of time, and orders them to stay. Records indicate Straxus was en route to Gallifrey — but the Doctor points out that they were tracking the Time Ring, not Straxus himself; and the ring is in the TARDIS. Straxus remains in captivity — in fact, his processing is complete, though he is still alive. The Trell confirm success, and when they open the Genotron device, they find a man in presidential robes. Zarodnix asks Straxus to identify the man, but the man emerges and declares that he is Morbius.
In the TARDIS, Lucie and the Doctor wait for Bulek to drop the transduction barriers so they can leave. However, the ship shudders, and they emerge to meet Bulek, who tells them Gallifrey is under attack — the shaking is from missiles bouncing off the transduction barriers. The attacking ships are manned by Trell — they must work for Zarodnix. Although they can't reach the planet, they relay a hyperlink communication from Karn — and on the screens, Zarodnix introduces Morbius. Morbius tells the High Council that he has returned, and promises them defeat. As the Council does not respond, the Doctor does so, and tells Morbius to give up his plans for domination, as they will only result in failure and chaos. Morbius recognises the Doctor, and boasts that the Time Lords cannot stop his revenge, prompting the Doctor to mock him. Morbius produces a medallion, which is the remote activator for a stellar manipulator — allegedly only one was produced, but that seems to be untrue. Morbius activates the manipulator, and power begins to drain from the Eye of Harmony. Soon the Time Lords will have no power for time travel. Cutting the transmission, the Doctor tells Bulek to lower the barriers so he can move while there is still power for the TARDIS — even if it means breaking the laws of time.
Zarodnix notes that the barriers are down, and Morbius orders the Trell to fire on Gallifrey. Meanwhile the Doctor and Lucie dematerialise in the TARDIS. The Doctor reassures her that they will have enough reserve power even if the Eye stops functioning; Lucie insists that they go back to before the events began and stop Zarodnix there. The console starts to spark — the manipulator is tearing the heart from the TARDIS. There is an explosion — and then the TARDIS materialises again. There is a little power left, but not enough to waste on the scanner, and so they trust the TARDIS and step outside. They find themselves in a cell, along with a hooded man, who is revealed to be Straxus. They hear an announcement from the Trell, announcing Morbius's victory. Straxus says it has been happening for ten years, and Lucie realises they have slipped forward in time, not backward. Morbius has conquered every opponent, and this is his palace. Further, his gene-splicing was not fully successful; his life force periodically fades, and each time it does so, he siphons more from the now-weak Straxus. Now, Morbius is returning, and soon he will summon Straxus for another feeding, which the man may not survive.
Zarodnix greets Morbius, who calls for Straxus, then reviews the battle and the victory. His empire is growing, and systems are surrendering without a fight sometimes, but some worlds still fight — Earth, for example, which he has just defeated, and brought back the Statue of Liberty as a trophy for the roof of his palace. He muses on whether humans would make good soldiers, then is wracked with pain, and sends Zarodnix for Straxus.
The Doctor asks Straxus if Morbius still has the manipulator remote; Straxus says he always wears it. The Doctor thinks it is holding back the Eye of Harmony, preventing the Time Lords from using it. Lucie says that switching it off should repower Gallifrey and allow them to travel back in time to fix this situation. It won't be easy, but she is right. The Doctor takes her back to the TARDIS, and uses the last power to activate the telepathic circuits and try to contact the Sisterhood. He sends Lucie to take water to Straxus while he works. Straxus tells her that Rosto is still here, though injected with the control nanocytes; he is the one who takes Straxus to Morbius. He may retain some of himself, however; the only words he ever speaks are "Lucie Miller".
The Doctor reaches Orthena, and tells her they must teleport him away as soon as he switches off the manipulator, or else Morbius will kill him and reactivate it. He gets no response, but senses that she is there, and has no choice but to trust her — and then the last power fades. Unknown to him, Haspira tries to get Orthena to abandon the Doctor and the Time Lords, insisting the Sisterhood owes nothing to anyone.
The Doctor returns to the dungeon in time to see Rosto arrive for Straxus; the Trell does indeed greet Lucie. Meanwhile, Morbius grows weak, and muses that he will need another Time Lord if Straxus succumbs to death — but the Time Lords are nowhere to be found. Moodily, he looks down at the canyon beneath his balcony, where he once fell to his death; Zarodnix notes he is always like this before a "feeding". Rosto arrives with Straxus, but when Morbius orders Straxus to remove his cowl, it is revealed to be the Doctor. The Doctor grabs the remote from him. Morbius yells for Zarodnix to kill the Doctor, but Lucie, Straxus, and Rosto break in, and engage the guards. Rosto is shot and falls. Morbius grapples with the Doctor for the remote; the Doctor sends a telepathic signal to the Sisterhood while he tries to shut down the activator. They stumble onto the balcony; Lucie calls a warning to the Doctor, but he cannot divert his attention. He warns Morbius that the Time Lords have power back, and will be on their way, even crossing time streams to remove Morbius from history. Morbius grabs the Doctor and drags him over the edge of the balcony, into the canyon.
Lucie checks the canyon, but the Doctor, it seems, is truly gone — although, so is Morbius. A strange noise fills the air; Straxus says it is the Time Lords correcting history. The scene changes around them, and they find themselves on Karn years earlier, before the arrival of the Zarodnix Corporation. Bulek arrives, and explains that the Doctor saved them — but his death is integral to the events that allowed the Time Lords to make the correction, and therefore it cannot be undone. Lucie threatens Bulek, and then breaks down crying when he tells her she must be returned to her own time and place; she says she would rather die with the Doctor. Straxus offers to help her forget the Doctor so as to ease her pain, but she angrily refuses — she never wants to forget him. Bulek agrees to respect her choice. She asks him to send her home.
Later, Lucie is at home, when her doorbell rings in the middle of the night. Lucie opens the door to find the Headhunter, who pulls an alien weapon on her and threatens to kill her if she moves. When Lucie protests, the woman shoots her.
- The Doctor - Paul McGann
- Lucie Miller - Sheridan Smith
- Morbius - Samuel West
- Zarodnix - Kenneth Colley
- Rosto - Alexander Siddig
- Straxus - Nickolas Grace
- Bulek - Barry McCarthy
- Haspira - Nicola Weeks
- Orthena, Headhunter - Katarina Olsson
- Lucie has seen Jurassic Park.
- After the death of Maren, Orthena is now the leader of the Sisterhood.
- Morbius takes the Statue of Liberty for his collection.
- This audio story is a sequel of The Brain of Morbius.
- This audio drama was recorded on 23 August 2007 at The Moat Studios.
- The story was broadcast on BBC Radio 7 on 18 December 2008.
- The Sisterhood of Karn and Morbius previously appeared in TV: The Brain of Morbius. The Sisterhood would later play a role in the Eighth Doctor's demise. (TV: The Night of the Doctor)
- The Doctor explains to Lucie the events of TV: The Brain of Morbius, and comments about being "another time, another face".
- Straxus previously appeared in AUDIO: Human Resources.
- The end of the story is a cliffhanger which leads directly into the events of AUDIO: Orbis.
- The Doctor mentions that he was with Duke of Wellington on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 during his second incarnation. (PROSE: World Game) The Sixth Doctor was also present for the battle but did not encounter Wellington on that occasion. (AUDIO: The Curse of Davros)
- The Fifth Doctor battled against Morbius in PROSE: Warmonger.
- Lucy calls the Doctor "Sarcasmo", a name she previously claimed was her superhero moniker. (AUDIO: Human Resources)
- By the time of his next encounter with the Doctor, Straxus had regenerated. On that that occasion, the Doctor commented that Straxus still had the same supercilious expression irrespective of his incarnation. (AUDIO: The Great War)
- Official Vengeance of Morbius page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Vengeance of Morbius at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide