The Girl Who Died
Original Airdate: 17 Oct 2015
(Clara is breathing heavily in her spacesuit.)
CLARA: Doctor! Doctor!
DOCTOR [OC]: Yes, you're the very next thing on the list.
(Bits explode in the Tardis.)
CLARA: Doctor, help me!
(Clara is floating untethered in deep space.)
DOCTOR [OC]: Clara, I'm under attack from four and a bit battle fleets
[Tardis / Space]
DOCTOR: In case you think I'm slacking.
CLARA: Doctor, I think there's something in my space suit.
DOCTOR: Yes, that's possible, actually. You were too long in the spider mines.
CLARA: Okay, explain?
DOCTOR: It's possibly a Love Sprite. Sucks your brain (boom) sucks your brain out through your mouth, hence the name.
CLARA: It's halfway up my leg.
DOCTOR: Don't worry, it's just hungry.
DOCTOR: Describe the four most interesting stars you can see.
CLARA: There's a blue one, quite big. Two little yellowish ones just below.
DOCTOR: Colour of whisky, smaller one blinking?
CLARA: Yes! It's on the back of my neck, I can feel it.
DOCTOR: Great! I thought asphyxiation would kill you first. Can you see a nebula? Can you see a nebula in a sort of wing-shape? Bit green at the end?
CLARA: Yes! Yes, I can.
DOCTOR: Great, I've seen it too. I wondered where it was.
(The Tardis dematerialises.)
CLARA: Doctor! Doctor!
(And re-materialises around her as the Doctor pulls off her helmet and stomps on the Love Sprite repeatedly. Clara coughs.)
CLARA: How did we do?
DOCTOR: Oh, not a word about my spot-on materialisation skills.
CLARA: What about all the Velosians? Are they safe?
DOCTOR: Huh? Oh, yeah. Well, I lured their attackers halfway across the universe and drained their weapons banks. Not to mention, I also saved a school teacher from having her brains devoured and being asphyxiated in deep space. So, now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go outside and wipe my boot on the grass.
(Night. The crickets are chirping.)
CLARA: What's to stop them re-arming and trying again?
DOCTOR: Nothing. But the Velosians will be ready for them this time. It's the best I could do, Clara. I'm not actually the police, that's just what it says on the box.
CLARA: You're always talking about what you can and can't do but you never tell me the rules.
DOCTOR: We're time travellers. We tread softly. It's okay to make ripples, but not tidal waves.
CLARA: You are a tidal wave.
DOCTOR: Don't say that.
(Swords are drawn and placed against their throats. Flaming torches come into view.)
DOCTOR: No, no, not Vikings. I'm not in the mood for Vikings.
(The raiding party leader, a red-haired man with the biggest horns on his helmet, whom I am assuming is the one called Nollarr in the cast list despite never being named, and some of his men actually have bull horns on their helmets.)
NOLLARR: You're coming with us.
DOCTOR: No, I'm not. Do you want to know why?
(The Vikings make angry noises.)
DOCTOR: On my face, right now, more advanced technology than your species will manage over the next nine million years.
(Nollarr snatches the sunglasses off the Doctor's face and snaps them in two. They fall to the ground, sparking.)
DOCTOR: We're going with the Vikings.
(Played by Cosmeston Mediaeval Village, Penarth. A longship has beached in a small cove near a settlement of wooden framed low buildings with big thatched roofs. A very large metal horn is sounded and the villagers greet their returning heroes. The Doctor and Clara are in manacles. A girl in boy's clothes runs up. The Viking raid leader is wearing half the sonic sunglasses like an eye-patch.)
ASHILDR: You're back! All of you! Are all of you back?
NOLLARR: I suppose so, I haven't counted.
HASTEN: I'm back!
(Another unnamed-in-the-broadcast-but-listed-in-the-cast younger Viking hugs the girl.)
ASHILDR: I had a dream you'd all died. It was so real, I thought I'd made it happen.
NOLLARR: Well, if it ever does, I'm sure you'll a find some way to blame yourself.
(The Chieftain throws the sunglasses to Ashildr.)
ASHILDR: I wish none of you had to go!
CLARA: Plan, Doctor? Any time soon.
DOCTOR: I do have a plan.
CLARA: Yeah, so you keep saying for two days on a longboat.
DOCTOR: Well, only because you were looking worried.
CLARA: Only because you kept saying I do have a plan.
DOCTOR: I do have a plan.
CLARA: There you go.
(They walk past Ashildr. The Doctor stops briefly and stares at her, then the warriors move them on.)
CLARA: You all right? Do you know her?
DOCTOR: Never seen her before in my life.
CLARA: Okay, so, why are you staring?
DOCTOR: I don't know. Nothing, probably. Too much time travel, it happens.
CLARA: What happens?
DOCTOR: People talk about premonition as if it's something strange. It's not. It's just remembering in the wrong direction.
CLARA: Okay, plan.
DOCTOR: We meet the boss man and we do the usual.
CLARA: Which is?
DOCTOR: Replace him.
(The Vikings greet the white-bearded village Elder, and they talk under the dialogue.)
CLARA: (sotto) How?
DOCTOR: To the primitive mind, advanced technology can seem like magic.
CLARA: It's going to be the yo-yo again, isn't it?
DOCTOR: Yeah. It's in my pocket somewhere.
NOLLARR: We have travelled far and fought
(The Doctor holds up his manacles, that are no longer securing him, and the yellow yo-yo.)
CLARA: How did you do that?!
NOLLARR: Miracle, and much treasure.
(The Doctor throws his manacles in the air, and they hit the old man in the chest. Swords and axes are drawn.)
NOLLARR: How dare you attack our Chieftain!
DOCTOR: I am very, very cross with you. I am very disappointed. I have taken human form to walk among you.
NOLLARR: Who are you, old man?
DOCTOR: Do you not recognise the sign of Odin?
(He unleashes his yo-yo.)
NOLLARR: You are not Odin, and that is not Odin's sign.
DOCTOR: Oh, and you would know that how, exactly? Have you met Odin? Do you know what Odin looks like?
(There is a thunderclap and the sound of a horn. A giant face appears in the clouds in the sky wearing a winged helmet and a Virtual Reality eyepiece.)
ODIN: Oh, my people. I am Odin. And now your day of reward has finally dawned.
DOCTOR: Do not believe this foolish trickery!
(His yo-yo fails to reel itself back up its string.)
DOCTOR: It's supposed to do that.
ODIN: Your mightiest warriors will feast with me tonight in the halls of Valhalla.
(Rays of light teleport down five large beings covered in armour, They have alien guns. The Doctor and Clara back away quietly while the Vikings move forward, and the aliens stomp to meet them.)
DOCTOR: Stay still. Stay very, very still.
CLARA: That's not really Odin, is it?
DOCTOR: He hasn't even got a yo-yo.
CLARA: So this is an invasion.
DOCTOR: Shh. No, this is a harvest. The strongest, the fittest. The weak and young, they'll leave behind.
(An alien warrior scans a group, then knocks down the village blacksmith, who comes up with a green outline instead of red. Then a batch of fighters are teleported away.)
CLARA: We have to help them.
DOCTOR: We have to not get chosen.
(Clara runs over to Ashildr.)
DOCTOR: Clara. Clara, no!
CLARA: Have you still got the eye-patch thing?
DOCTOR: (sotto) Clara.
CLARA: Point it at my chains and think the word open. Say it with your mind.
(As Ashildr does so, more groups are teleported, then the aliens turn towards Clara and Ashildr, and register the technology.)
DOCTOR: Clara! Clara!
(An alien points his 'gun' at the women, there is a bang and Clara's shackles fall to the ground, empty. Then the aliens teleport themselves away and the face in the sky disappears.)
(Fluorescent lights flicker on. Ashildr and Clara are greeted by one of the younger Vikings.)
HASTEN: Welcome to Valhalla, my ladies.
(Nollarr forces the door open with his axe. At the end of a short passage with circular fans running along the walls is another door. He walks towards it.)
CLARA: No, wait! Wait!
NOLLARR: There's nothing to fear, strange maiden.
(Fan blades begin to turn very quickly.)
NOLLARR: We are Odin's chosen.
(He is caught by energy discharges in the passage, from the fans and disappears. Just his helmet and axe are left behind. Machinery thuds as if cogs are moving into position, then the wall behind them begins to move forward.)
HASTEN: The wall, it moves!
ASHILDR: Odin! Odin!
CLARA: Use your blades, try to jam it!
(While the men try this futile exercise, Clara grabs Ashildr and they run for the other door.)
CLARA: Come on! Come on!
(They make it, and try to prise the door open.)
CLARA: Quick! Pull!
ASHILDR: I'm trying!
(The Vikings are finally forced into the passage, and the fans start turning again.)
(The Doctor is admiring a finely carved dragon figurehead.)
LOFTY: They took half the village.
(A man with his long blond beard in two plaits, who the Doctor will give this stupid name to later, speaks.)
HEIDI: Yeah, and it was the good half.
EINARR: They went willingly to Valhalla as would we all.
HEIDI: I wouldn't. Well, I wouldn't. I'm not good with heights.
DOCTOR: Oh, stop it! All of you, stop it right now. Homo sapiens, you're an intelligent species. Stop lying to yourselves.
EINARR: Choose your words carefully, False Odin.
DOCTOR: Yes, I am a false Odin. That's exactly right, I lied. The big fella in the sky, he lied too. You all know it. Because what's the one thing that gods never do? Gods never actually show up!
Guess what? You got raided. Guess what else? I lost someone who matters to me.
EINARR: So did I.
(A processing plant area of some kind. Vials are being filled with green liquid.)
(The warrior's helmets and weapons are in a pile on the floor..)
ASHILDR: Why are we still alive?
ODIN: Because of this.
(He is holding the half of the sonic sunglasses carefully by an earpiece.)
CLARA: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you afraid.
ODIN: I have no reason to fear you.
CLARA: Except you've already analysed that and you know it's a technology from a civilisation vastly more powerful than your own. And er, you will have also noticed that I'm wearing a space suit. So, I'm not from around here, and it's highly unlikely I will have come alone. You see, you haven't killed us because killing us would start a fight you didn't come here to have, and you're not sure you can win.
(An armoured alien stomps past her and hands Odin a vial.)
CLARA: Ooo, hello. Time for your medication?
ODIN: Adrenaline. Testosterone extracted from the finest warriors.
(Odin drinks it.)
ODIN: Ah! Nectar.
(He gives the empty vial back to the alien.)
CLARA: Okay, you mash up Vikings to make warrior juice, nice.
ASHILDR: They what?
CLARA: Why play God?
ODIN: What is a god but the cattle's name for farmer? What is heaven but the gilded door of the abattoir?
CLARA: You're not a farmer. You're a thief, caught in the act.
ASHILDR: I don't understand. Mashed up? What are you saying?
CLARA: Hush. Go, now. Go and find Vikings on other planets. The universe is full of testosterone. Trust me, it's unbearable. We won't follow you, see? We don't need to fight.
ODIN: War is our way.
CLARA: Ask yourself, is this a war you really want?
ASHILDR: Yes! You'll pay for what you have done here today. I am a Viking. Ashildr, daughter of Einarr. You have mocked our gods. Killed our warriors. And we will crush you on the field of battle.
ODIN: That's better!
CLARA: We were about to leave.
ODIN: You almost had me talking. Talk is for cowards.
CLARA: No, no, no, listen to me.
ODIN: I accept your challenge.
ASHILDR: We will crush you!
CLARA: (sotto) Oh, please. Shut up.
ODIN: Shall we say this time tomorrow? Ten of my warriors versus the best of your village.
ASHILDR: You will beg for mercy!
ODIN: (laughs) I will send you back. You can inform your people of their impending destruction.
CLARA: Why are you doing this?
ODIN: Why else? The joy of war! Can't you see it on my face?
(He presses a button on his bracer, and the humanoid face disappears to reveal something else.)
(Clara and Ashildr are teleported back while the Doctor is doing some reading.)
EINARR: My child!
DOCTOR: Clara! Clara! Clara!
(He runs over then just sticks out his upraised thumb.)
DOCTOR: I'm not a hugger. Ahh! Let's hug!
(He lifts Clara off her feet.)
EINARR: Where are the others?
ASHILDR: I'm sorry, Father.
DOCTOR: I looked them up in my two thousand year diary.
DOCTOR: They are called the Mire.
DOCTOR: They are one of the deadliest warrior races in the entire galaxy
DOCTOR: But they're practical. They get what they want and go. You persuaded them to go, didn't you? I knew that you would.
CLARA: The deadliest warrior race in the galaxy?
DOCTOR: One of them, yes. Why?
CLARA: Because I think this village just declared war on them.
(Clara is out of her spacesuit at last. They are in a longhouse with a series of cartwheel chandlers holding candle stubs hanging the length of the roof. These are accessible from a gallery decorated with painted round wooden shields.)
CLARA: They're coming here tomorrow, ten of them, to kill everybody in the village.
EINARR: Ashildr, is this true?
ASHILDR: It's my fault.
EINARR: Not every misfortune that befalls this village is down to you. (to the Doctor) She thinks she brings us bad luck.
DOCTOR: What bad luck? You haven't had any bad luck. You're fine.
(A stocky man who gets named later by the Doctor remonstrates.)
LIMPY: We are about to be attacked by
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes, yes. With a whole day to spare! So leave! Hop it, take off! Into the woods, split up, hide. Hang about there for a week, come back home, make puddings and babies. That's basically what you do, isn't it?
EINARR: We cannot leave this village.
DOCTOR: Yes, you can. Just pick a direction. Fly like a bird, run like a nose. That's probably a Viking saying, I haven't checked that.
LIMPY No. We will fight!
DOCTOR: Really? Well, I don't know if you remember, but they actually took away all your fighters. So, what are you? Farmers, fishermen, web designers. Maybe not that last one.
(Einarr tosses a skin full of weapons onto the floor.)
EINARR: We are Vikings!
DOCTOR: Okay, tell me this. How many people here have actually held a sword in battle? By a show of hands? Mmm hmm. Yeah, baby.
(He raises his own hand. Clara raises hers too. The Doctor picks up a sword.)
DOCTOR: The Mire are coming for each and every one of you. (throws the sword down again) So what you going to do? Raise crops at them?
LIMPY: If necessary.
HEIDI: I think he was being sarcastic.
EINARR: We're not cowards. We do not run. A death in battle is a death with honour.
(A baby cries.)
DOCTOR: Do babies die with honour?
(The Doctor closes his eyes and concentrates.)
DOCTOR: I am afraid, Mother. Hold me, Mother. I am afraid.
CLARA: Er, he speaks Baby.
DOCTOR: Turn your face towards me, Mother, for you're, you're beautiful. And I will sing for you. I am afraid, but I will sing. Babies think that laughter is singing. Did you know that? I applaud your courage, but I deplore your stupidity. And I will mourn your deaths, which will be terrifying, painful, and without honour.
(The Doctor starts to leave, but Ashildr stops him.)
ASHILDR: Stay. You could help us. I know you could.
DOCTOR: I told you to run. That's all the help you need. And that's all the help you're getting.
(The Doctor walks outside.)
(Clara goes to the Doctor.)
DOCTOR: The earth is safe, humanity is not in danger. It's just one village.
CLARA: Just one village?
DOCTOR: Suppose I saved it by some miracle. No Tardis, no sonic. Just one village defeats the Mire. What then? Word gets around. Earth becomes a target of strategic value, and the Mire come back. And God knows what else. Ripples into tidal waves until everybody dies.
(The baby is crying.)
CLARA: What's it saying?
DOCTOR: She. She's afraid. Babies sense danger. They have to.
CLARA: Tell me.
DOCTOR: Mother, I hear thunder. Mother, I hear shouting. You are my world, but I hear other worlds now. Beyond the unfolding of your smile, is there other kindness? I'm afraid. Will they be kind? The sky is crying now. Fire in the water. Fire in the water?
(The crying stops. Clara puts her hand on the Doctor's cheek.)
CLARA: You just decided to stay. The baby stopped crying.
(Later, the remaining men are lined up. They are holding wooden staves and there are practise dummies nearby.)
DOCTOR: So, when I say move, you move. When I say jump, you say how high? Unless it's across a gap of some kind which, of course, means you jump horizontally. Yes, what is it, Lofty?
LOFTY: Sorry, my name's not actually Lofty, it's Bro
DOCTOR: No, it's not, it's Lofty. I've got too much to think about without everybody having their own names, so it's Lofty. You're Lofty, you're Daphne, (bushy black beard) you're Noggin the Nog, (old man in a too-large helmet) ZZ Top (bushy ginger beard and bald head) and you're er, Heidi. So, we'll try that again. Lofty, what is it?
LOFTY: Sorry, sir, it's just, why aren't we practising with real swords?
DOCTOR: Yes, perhaps you'd like to field this one, Limpy?
(The stocky man sitting is apart, tying a bandage around his knee.)
LIMPY: Because we can't be trusted with them.
DOCTOR: That's right, yes. You'll be given your real swords back when you can prove that you can wave them around without lopping bits off yourselves. Heidi, why are your eyes closed?
HEIDI: Sorry, sir. Just not that good with the sight of blood.
(He gestures towards Limpy.)
DOCTOR: No of course you're not.
(The women are watching from a safe distance.)
ASHILDR: Swords against those creatures. That won't work, will it?
CLARA: He's just warming up. He hasn't got a plan yet. But he will have, and it will be spectacular.
(Finally the Doctor holds up his sword and whistles for attention.)
DOCTOR: Enough theory. I'm handing out the real swords.
(Later, the village horn is being sounded and everyone is rushing around with buckets of water and a thatch is on fire.)
DOCTOR: Well, that could have gone better.
(Heidi groans and sits up.)
HEIDI: What happened?
DOCTOR: The Big Bang, dinosaurs, bipeds, and a mounting sense of futility.
CLARA: More recently, Chuckles hit Lofty over the head, on his helmet, with his sword, which knocked him out. There was a little blood, which you saw (Heidi faints) and did that. Only, the first time you did it, you knocked a torch onto some hay, which spooked a horse, who kicked open a gate, and er, I'm sure you can fill in the rest.
(Later that night - the Vikings are inside the Meeting House preparing for battle by having a big feast.
The Doctor and Clara are outside listening to booms in the sky. Clara has obtained a jerkin, probably from Ashildr.)
CLARA: Weird sounding thunder.
DOCTOR: That's not thunder. It's the weapon forges of the Mire. They're making sure we hear them.
DOCTOR: Well, Heidi faints at the mention of blood, not just the sight any more. He's actually upgraded his phobia. Chuckles, (he means Einarr) he questions every single order you give him, which is going to be a little bit difficult, a little bit tricky, in the heat of battle.
CLARA: I keep waiting to hear what your real plan is.
DOCTOR: Teaching them to fight, that's the only plan I've got.
CLARA: Turning them into fighters? That's not like you.
DOCTOR: Yeah. I used to believe that too.
CLARA: What happened?
DOCTOR: You. Oh, Clara Oswald what have I made of you?
CLARA: It doesn't matter how well you train them, it's not going to make difference.
DOCTOR: They'll die fighting with honour. To a Viking, that's all the difference in the world.
CLARA: A good death? Is that the best they can hope for?
DOCTOR: A good death is the best anyone can hope for, unless you happen to be immortal.
(Ashildr leaves the Meeting House.)
CLARA: No problem.
CLARA: You've made an impact there.
DOCTOR: Stop it.
CLARA: She's nice. Fight you for her.
DOCTOR: The human race, you're obsessed. You all need to get a hobby.
CLARA: I've got a hobby, thanks. It's you, by the way.
DOCTOR: Well, get a new one.
CLARA: Not this.
DOCTOR: Tomorrow it's going to be a bloodbath.
CLARA: Don't even ask.
DOCTOR: These people all died hundreds of years before you were born
CLARA: I'm not running.
DOCTOR: I have a duty of care.
CLARA: No, you don't, because I never asked for that.
DOCTOR: Every time we do something like this, I keep thinking, what if something happens to you?
CLARA: Well, stop thinking about me, and start think about them, because you're missing something.
CLARA: How you're going to win. You always miss it, right up until the last minute. So put down your sword, stop playing soldier and look for it. Start winning, Doctor. It's what you're good at.
(Ashildr is challenging a shadow cast on a skin by candlelight.)
ASHILDR: So, we meet again, Fake Odin. Valhalla burns around you, your army is destroyed and now it is time for you to die!
(She attacks her model of Odin with a wooden stave. The Doctor stands in the doorway and clears his throat.)
ASHILDR: How long have you been there?
DOCTOR: What's that? Is that a puppet? Oh, I love puppets!
ASHILDR: I make puppets sometimes, when I'm
ASHILDR: When the raiding parties go out, I make up stories about their battles.
DOCTOR: Because if you make up the right story, then you think it will keep them safe and they'll all come home. That's okay. You're not the first person to ever have done that.
ASHILDR: Why are you here?
DOCTOR: I'm looking for something I'm missing. What do you think our chances are tomorrow?
ASHILDR: We will be cut down like corn. By this time tomorrow, every single one of us will be dead.
(He picks up an illuminated bound book and briefly leaves through it.)
DOCTOR: You could go.
ASHILDR: There's nowhere for me except here. This is my place. The sky, the hills, the sea, the people. Is there nowhere like that for you?
DOCTOR: Oh, I like a nice view as much as anyone.
DOCTOR: Can't wait for the next one.
ASHILDR: I pity you.
DOCTOR: I will mourn for you. I know which I'd prefer.
ASHILDR: You think they're all idiots, don't you?
DOCTOR: What, you mean the rest of the universe? Basically, yes, I do.
ASHILDR: But they're kind and brave, and strong, and I love them.
DOCTOR: Good. Good. But that won't save you.
ASHILDR: I've always been different. All my life I've known that. The girls all thought I was a boy. The boys all said I was just a girl. My head is always full of stories. I know I'm strange. Everyone knows I'm strange. But here I'm loved. You tell me to run to save my life. I tell you that leaving this place would be death itself.
(Her father enters.)
EINARR: I cannot keep you safe. I do not have the strength. But I will try to till the last beat of my heart.
(The baby cries as Einarr hugs Ashildr.)
EINARR: If you seek to mock me in this moment
DOCTOR: No. No. No, you go ahead and you cry all you like. Speaking of crying, is that baby getting closer?
(Lofty walks through the village carrying the baby.)
DOCTOR: Why has Lofty stolen a baby?
ASHILDR: That's his child.
DOCTOR: Oh. Where's he taking her?
ASHILDR: The boathouse. He takes her to the boathouse when she won't settle. She likes the fish.
DOCTOR: Why would she? Fire in the water. Fire in the water. Fire in the Fire in the water. Fire in the water? Fire in the water! That's it. That's it. That's what I've been missing. Clara, I've found it!
(He runs out.)
DOCTOR: Clara! Clara!
(The baby is crying and the water is lapping. For no obvious reason, these Vikings keep water here in large barrels.)
DOCTOR: Lofty! I had no idea that was your baby. Hello, baby, I had no idea this was your junior parent.
LOFTY: I'm trying to settle her. She likes all the fish.
(Clara, Ashildr and Einarr enter.)
CLARA: You're shouting. What's happened? Did you trap your finger in something again?
DOCTOR: Chuckles, bedtime is cancelled. Everybody, off the hard stuff. We've got a long night's work ahead of us. I need a blacksmith. Who's the blacksmith?
LOFTY: I'm the blacksmith.
DOCTOR: You're the blacksmith and you've got a baby too? He's been at it hammer and tongs.
CLARA: Doctor, explain. What's happening?
DOCTOR: There's going to be a war tomorrow. And here's some news, this just in. We're going to win the hell out of it.
DOCTOR: Ashildr, this is your village, and you will never have to leave it, I swear.
CLARA: Seriously, how?
DOCTOR: I told you that we were basically doomed. Did no one in this two-horn town think to mention that you had eels?
DOCTOR: I give you fire in the water!
(Flashes of blue light in the barrels of water. Why?)
DOCTOR: Electric eels!
(My query stands. What are electric fish from the Amazon and Orinoco basins doing in Northern European water barrels? The baby cries, and so do I.)
DOCTOR: Yes, yes! I know exactly how you feel. Well, not exactly. She needs changing.
CLARA: Plan, then?
DOCTOR: And it is a doozy!
(A hive of activity.)
DOCTOR: We need to pull that silvery stuff out of Clara's space suit. We can use it to magnify the electrical charge. Stop looking confused! Look happy! Winning is all about looking happier than the other guy. Always walk briskly. Makes you a moving target. Oh, that's for Lofty. Lofty! (he throws something) And talk with confidence, even if you're terrified.
(Clara is showing 'Heidi' how to use her mobile phone.)
DOCTOR: Act as if you know their plan, and sometimes, if you're very lucky, they'll actually tell you it. Ah, this is for Ashildr. (a blanket)
(Later, the plan is being explained.)
DOCTOR: Then we deploy the anvil. Now, at this stage, getting me one of their helmets is key. We get a helmet, and this is over. Then we can mop up the rest using Ashildr's monstrosity.
(Ashildr pulls on a rope to reveal something to the crowd.)
CLARA: That is rubbish.
DOCTOR: (grinning) I know.
(Next day, the village appears deserted. Odin teleports down with his ten warriors. They stomp towards the meeting house and discover Lofty playing horseshoes while the villagers are dancing. Once they enter, Lofty moves behind them and throws metal rings with copper wiring attached to them over the aerials sticking out of the Mire's backpack.)
DOCTOR: Hey, hello, hi! I'm the Doctor. It's lovely to meet you face to er convincing hologram. You could always go zzz and get rid of it, no? No, on second thoughts, don't. That, that, that suits you.
ODIN: It is time to fight.
DOCTOR: No, no, no. We decided against that. We thought we'd just have a party!
(The villagers cheer.)
ODIN: Let me put it another way. You fight or you die.
DOCTOR: We're unarmed. There isn't a single weapon in this room. Which I'm sure your systems are telling you. You wouldn't open fire on unarmed civilians, would you?
ODIN: It wouldn't be the first time.
(A horseshoe hits a Mire's armour with a clang. The Mire all look up to a mesh of wires attached to the cartwheels of candle holders in the roof space.)
DOCTOR: Chuckles, now!
(Einarr hits a barrel of eels. Electricity runs through wires from the boathouse to the Mire, and causes havoc.)
DOCTOR: Run, run, run-run-run-run! That's four down, six left.
(Mire stomp forward.)
DOCTOR: Chuckles, switch!
(Einarr hits another barrel of electric eels and energises another set of wires. The Mire's weapons are attracted to the magnetised anvil in the roof, then their helmets. These are not pretty aliens, and they have over-large mouths filled with very long sharp teeth.)
DOCTOR: Chuckles, off!
(Everything falls to the floor. The Doctor catches a helmet and Clara grabs a weapon.)
CLARA: Don't move.
(The Mire chase the villagers while the Doctor and Clara hide, and he works on the helmet.)
CLARA: How's it coming?
DOCTOR: Reversing the polarity of the neutron flow. I bet that means something. It sounds great. Ashildr!
(Ashildr sits in a large chair.)
DOCTOR: Are you ready?
ASHILDR: I'm scared.
DOCTOR: You were born for this. Show them a story they'll never forget.
(The Doctor puts a Mire helmet on Ashildr. Odin gasps as the main doors of the Meeting House fall in and a strong wind blows out the candles. They see a classic long-necked Wyrm coming at them, hissing.)
ODIN: What is this beast? It's impossible!
MIRE: Withdraw. Withdraw.
ODIN: Stand and fight!
(The Wyrm snaps at them. The Mire's weapons have no effect on it.)
MIRE: Withdraw. (transports up)
DOCTOR: See how they run.
MIRE: Withdraw. (transports up)
(The Mire finish transporting back to the spaceship, leaving Odin alone.)
DOCTOR: That's enough, Ashildr. Story's over. Happy ending.
(The dragon flickers in Odin's VR eyepiece out to reveal Ashildr's monstrosity, created with the longship dragon prow from earlier. Limpy stops blowing the village horn with a sound like a fart, then laughs. The Meeting House door is raised shut and other villagers surround Odin with swords, pointy end towards him.)
ODIN: What trickery is this?
DOCTOR: Ha! Says the man with a fake face. But you see, that's the trouble with viewing reality through technology. It's all too easy to feed in a new reality.
CLARA: You got it? Great.
(Clara takes the phone from Heidi.)
DOCTOR: A story to save a town, and a puppet from a nightmare. You see, you've just seen the world through the eyes of a storyteller. The mighty armies of the Mire. Brutal, sadistic, undefeated. Even I believed the stories. But after today, no one will again. An army like yours, it lives or dies on its reputation, its story. And today, you were sent packing by a handful of farmers and fisherman. Not to mention the whole wetting your pants and running away from a puppet debacle.
CLARA: (laughing) See, that was really funny.
DOCTOR: That was hilarious. It's just lucky that nobody recorded that. Oh. Wait a minute, we did.
(He watches it on Clara's phone.)
CLARA: See, all it needed was the Benny Hill theme.
DOCTOR: The Benny Hill theme, yes. Now, you see, we could just keep this as a funny little film and play it every year at the Christmas party, or I could upload it to the galactic hub and get a second opinion. So the question you need to ask yourself is this. Just how important is your reputation to you? Here's a little sneak preview, piped straight into your helmets, free of charge.
(Clara presses a big red virtual button on her phone screen. We watch Odin and his Mire backing away from the puppet, shouting in fear to a background of Yakety-Sax by Rich and Randolph.)
ODIN [OC]: Wait! Cowards!
DOCTOR: If you don't leave right now, I'll put it out there for all to see and no one will fear you again.
ODIN: This humiliation will not go unpunished. We will meet again.
(The Doctor teleports him away.)
DOCTOR: Oh, I hacked your teleporter. Sorry.
(Celebrations. The Mire spaceship appears in the sky and rockets away. Einarr goes to where Ashildr is still sitting in the chair, wearing the Mire helmet.)
EINARR: You did it, Ashildr. You did it. You saved us all. Ashildr.
(Ashildr doesn't move. They all go quiet.)
EINARR: Ashildr? Ashildr!
CLARA: Get the helmet off her. Get it off, now.
(Einarr removes the helmet and drops it with a thud.)
(They lay her down on the floor.)
CLARA: No pulse. I think. Doctor, is she dead?
DOCTOR: I'm sorry. I'm really terribly sorry.
(He runs out.)
(Clara finds the Doctor here, looking at his reflection in the barrels.)
CLARA: Heart failure, yeah?
DOCTOR: Yeah. I plugged her into the machine. Used her up like a battery. (sighs) I'm so sick of losing.
CLARA: You didn't lose. You saved the town.
DOCTOR: I don't mean the war. I'll lose any war you like. I'm sick of losing people. Look at you, with your eyes, and your never giving up, and your anger, and your kindness. One day, the memory of that will hurt so much that I won't be able to breathe, and I'll do what I always do. I'll get in my box and I'll run and I'll run, in case all the pain ever catches up. And every place I go, it will be there.
CLARA: You did your best. She died. There's nothing you can do.
DOCTOR: I can do anything. There's nothing I can't do. Nothing. But I'm not supposed to. Ripples, tidal waves, rules. I'm not supposed to. Oh. Oh!
(He looks at his reflection in the water and sees what he saw in the mirror back in Deep Breath.)
CLARA: What? What's wrong?
DOCTOR: My face.
DOCTOR [memory]: Who frowned me this face? Why this one? Why did I choose this face?
CLARA: Doctor, what's wrong with your face?
DOCTOR: I think I know why I chose it.
DOCTOR [memory]: It's like I'm trying to tell myself something.
DOCTOR: I think I know what I'm trying to say.
DONNA [memory]: (to Doctor 10) Just someone. Not the whole town. Just save someone.
DOCTOR 10 [memory]: Come with me.
(A memory of Lobus Caecilus cowering as Vesuvius erupts in Fires of Pompeii. Played by Peter Capaldi, if you'd forgotten.)
DOCTOR: I know where I got this face, and I know what it's for.
CLARA: Okay, what's it for?
DOCTOR: To remind me. To hold me to the mark. I'm the Doctor, and I save people.
(He shouts at the sky - the Time Lords.)
DOCTOR: And if anyone happens to be listening, and you've got any kind of a problem with that, to hell with you!
(Ashildr is laid out on furs on a bier as the Doctor tosses small components out of the Mire helmet.)
EINARR: What's he doing?
CLARA: Saving her, I think.
(Whirr of sonics, then the Doctor holds out a small SIM-type device.)
DOCTOR: It's from the Mire helmet. Battlefield medical kit. I've reprogrammed it for human beings.
(He places it on Ashildr's forehead and it gets absorbed into her.)
EINARR: It's gone. It's inside her.
DOCTOR: It's repairing her. It will never stop repairing her, if it works. Come on, Ashildr. Come on. The story's not over yet.
EINARR: (weeping and stroking her hair) Daughter, listen to me. This town has lost so much. If we lose you too there'll be nothing left.
(Nothing for a long pause, then Ashildr gasps and opens her eyes briefly.)
DOCTOR: She'll be conscious in a day, up and about in three. No swimming for a week. Now, we're going to need a longboat and some of your best rowers. We're two days' sail from the Tardis.
Come on, Clara.
EINARR: Wait, no. She'll want to see you when she wakes.
DOCTOR: Oh, no. Well, she'll, she'll see me often enough once she understands.
EINARR: Understands what?
DOCTOR: Second dose.
(He throws another SIM card to Einarr.)
EINARR: Will she need to take this?
DOCTOR: No, no, no, it's not for her.
CLARA: Then who's it for?
DOCTOR: Er, whoever she wants.
ASHILDR: (sotto) Doctor, thank you.
DOCTOR: Oh, don't thank me yet, Ashildr. Not yet.
(The Doctor and Clara leave.)
(Walking towards the Tardis.)
CLARA: Okay, it's official. Silence is even worse in a Scottish accent. Are you going to tell me what you're brooding about?
DOCTOR: It won't stop, the repair kit I put inside Ashildr, not ever. It'll just keep fixing her.
CLARA: Well, good.
DOCTOR: I'm not sure, but it's entirely possible she has lost the ability to die.
CLARA: The ability?
DOCTOR: Oh, dying is an ability, believe me. Barring accidents, she may now be functionally immortal.
(He unlocks the Tardis.)
CLARA: If the repair kit never stops working, then why did you give her two?
DOCTOR: Immortality isn't living forever. That's not what it feels like. Immortality is everybody else dying. She might meet someone she can't bear to lose. That happens, I believe.
DOCTOR: I was angry. I was emotional. Just possibly, I have made a terrible mistake. Maybe even a tidal wave.
(The Tardis dematerialises.)
DOCTOR: Time will tell, it always does.
CLARA: Whatever you did for Ashildr, I think she deserved it.
DOCTOR: Yes. Yes, she did. But Ashildr isn't just human any more. There's a little piece of alien inside her, so in a way, she's. In a way, she's a hybrid.
(After that allusion to the concept introduced in The Witch's Familiar, we are treated to a representation of Ashildr standing against the passing of more time than a normal human would experience without ageing. Days, seasons, years. She stops smiling and becomes stern.)
To Be Continued...
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