Back to the Doctor

By Steve Lake

The TARDIS wheezed and groaned into existence, materialising next to a large wooden structure in the dark, dusty wild west town.    A tumbleweed tumbled past, and in the distance a dog barked.

It was the middle of the night, and so fortunately no-one had seen the arrival of the blue box. 

The door creaked open and Clara Oswald wandered out, followed by The Doctor

“So.. the wild west eh?” Clara said, excitedly “Outlaws and sheriffs, stetsons and gunsmoke!”

“Hmm..” replied the Doctor, scanning the area with his sonic sunglasses “More like cholera, malnourishment and measles.  But your version sounds much more fun, so let’s go with that”

He popped a previously unforeseen stetson onto his head. 

“Reckon I look the part Miss Clara?”  He said, badly faking a Texan accent, while removing his sunglasses and putting them in his pocket

“Sure do, Doc” Clara replied, with a far more convincing accent “I’m questionin’ why we rode into this town though”

The Doctor paused for a second while he decided whether to continue with the voice and then walked forwards onto the deserted road, looking around suspiciously  

“Well," he stated in his normal Scotish brogue "..the TARDIS detected a disrupted chroniton field, and fluctuations in the time stream, coming from this very spot, but in multiple different time periods.  This date is near the earliest incident, so I thought we should come and see what’s going on”

“Do you think it’s aliens” Clara stepped forwards, also looking around suspiciously, part serious, part mocking.

The doctor spun on his heels, grinning.

“So.. what.. Aliens meddled in the wild west?”   she asked, with the look in her eyes that she reserved for the “where are we going with this” moments

“Almost certainly..”  he replied “But not here. There’s no sign of teleportation, transmat or any kind of ship travelling here”

In the distance, a cow mooed loudly.

“So…?”  She slapped him on the chest “Tell me - what is it then? A robot disguised as the sheriff?”

“Not this time, no” The doctor replied, sniffing the air like a dog searching for a bone  “No.. in this barn there is a high concentration of time energy, and the faint smell of petrol… neither of which should be here"

There was a crash from inside the barn, and the door swung open suddenly, revealing a man with wild looking hair and an even wilder look in his eyes

“Great Scott!” the man shouted “Who are you?”

“Who’s Scott?” replied the Doctor, pausing for a second “No.. I’m the Doctor, and this is Clara” (Clara nodded politely) “...and would you please be quiet before you wake up the entire town”

“Ok.. yes.. Right.. Come in.. come in…”  he ushered them in through the door, looking around to make sure they hadn’t been seen, and then shut the door behind them
“Why are you here?” He asked “Did Tannen send you? No.. no.. that’s ridiculous, why would he send people here in the middle of the night. He’d just smash his way in during the day..  Are you from the government? Did you come about the explosion?”

“No, nothing like that” Clara said “We’re just…”

“You’re English!” the man interrupted “Clara is a lovely name, by the way.  And you…” he pointed at the Doctor “You’re Australian”

“What? No, it’s clearly a Scottish accent” replied the Doctor looking perplexed and hurt

“Ah, so you’re from Scotland?”  The man had wandered over to a strange contraption on the wall and pulled a lever.   Far above some heavy wooden cogs started moving.
The Doctor was still wondering how to reply without sounding too sarcastic, and without completely confusing the issue further.

The wild haired man pulled another lever,  walked back over to The Doctor and extended his hand.

“Doc Emmett Brown.  Scientist and inventor” he said

The Doctor looked quizzically at the extended hand.  Clara shook it warmly, throwing a sideways glance at the Doctor. 

“No” the Doctor replied to the previous statement “I’m from Galifrey”

“That’s in Ireland, right”  Doc E-B replied.

Clara laughed

“NO! It’s..   never mind.. What is that machine doing?”  The Doctor pulled out his sunglasses and started looking around “Large wooden cogs…  some kind of drive belt.. And a motor made out of stuff you’ve salvaged?”

Emmet Brown was bewildered and somewhat shocked - pointing at The Doctor’s face.

“What? Do I have spinach in my teeth?” The Doctor asked, brushing his teeth with his finger

Doc E-B stuttered back to life “You have Ray Bans? But .. If my memory is correct, they aren’t invented for another 51 years..”

“Aha!! And YOU shouldn’t know what Ray Bans are for another 51 years!”  Clara replied “You’re a time traveller!”

“And anyway they’re SONIC sunglasses.   But of course you’re a time traveller! That explains the time energy and the disrupted chronton field.. ” The Doctor took off his glasses and removed his sonic screwdriver from his pocket.  Scanning away he continued talking.

“... But the modulation doesn’t match any kind of time drive that I know of… what did you use? Some kind of bootleg vortex manipulator? A quantum transmat? Oh - did you use the infinity gauntlet”

Clara slapped him again “Doctor, that’s just comic book science fiction” she whispered

The Doctor smirked and retorted “...Said the impossible girl who visited me in all my lifetimes and currently resides in a time machine”

“Yeah, ok, fair point”

“A delorean” replied the wild haired man “I used a delorean”

“The car?” The Doctor replied, visibly confused “But how do you account for the…”

“The time displacement? The car has a stainless steel construction means I can get strong electromagnetic flux dispersal equally throughout which creates…”

The Doctor, now leaping up and down with excitement interrupted “...A stable warp bubble through the time vortex - but to do that you’d need a tremendous amount of electrical energy”

“1.21 gigawatts”  The Doc said with a smirk “About the same as a lightning bolt”

“Right..”  The Doctor replied pointing his fingers in a “Yes Of Course” kind of way

The large wooden machinery clanked around above and what turned out to be some kind of wooden crane mechanism lowered the TARDIS to the ground

“I figured we probably shouldn’t leave this outside” The Doc smiled “This, I assume, is your time machine?”

“It’s called The TARDIS” replied Clara “It’s a spaceship too.. We can go absolutely anywhere in time and space.  Except New York, for some reason. ”

“That’s a long story” replied The Doctor, clicking his fingers.   The TARDIS door swung open. “Fancy a look?” He gestured towards the door.

“Of course!” The Doc replied with a grin

Clara, The Doctor, and Doc Emmet Brown all stepped inside.  Reaching the control console, the Doctor spun around and looked smug.

There was an expectant pause. 

“What?” asked Doc E-B “I like the book shelves - very nice touch”. 

"You don't seem surprised that it's bigger on the inside"  The Doctor was upset. It was his favourite bit about new people coming to visit.

"Why would I be? It's clearly dimensionally transcendental, based upon the slight disorientation when you step across the threshold."  The Doc replied
“I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s a marvel of engineering. Far beyond anything I anticipated.. It must take tremendous amounts of energy to maintain..”

"Yes…..” The Doctor replied with a grin. He rarely got a chance to geek out about technology. 
“.. about the same as a trapped quantum singularity..  And you're sure that you're human?"

“Quite sure” The Doc replied “At least, I think so.. I mean.. I assume so..”

“Well, I’ll let you boys geek out about your toys” Clara shrugged “I’m going to get a sandwich”