Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 045 Project Lazarus

Some time after leaving Cassie in Norway, the Sixth Doctor has perfected his cure for her vampirism, and steers the TARDIS back to around ten minutes after he and Evelyn left her. The TARDIS disagrees a bit and suggests meeting her months later, in the south of Norway, instead.

The Doctor decides to follow the TARDIS' advice and vworps back into Cassie's life a bit later than originally agreed on. She's really not happy with this. Months of being alone in the dark, surviving on rat blood, fleeing from overly enthusiastic vampire hunters and trying to cope with the cold — vampires can feel the cold, which the Doctor hadn't really considered — have left her desparate and bitter. In the middle of all that, a gentle, small blue alien appears, tries to defend itself from a hunter, and ends up being used by Cassie as a murder weapon.

As it turns out, Cassie has been scouted out by Nimrod again, and he's used her weakness and despair to brainwash her. She's part of the Forge now. Evelyn and the Doctor are taken captive and brought to the Forge, where Six promptly gets Strapped to an Operating Table and tortured a bit. Evelyn, meanwhile, tries to get through to Cassie. But the only thing Cassie is interested in is Evelyn's reason for wanting to travel with the Doctor... she has a serious heart condition (which Cassie's vampire ears easily pick up on), and the university was threatening to force Evelyn into retirement. Six showing up gave her the perfect opportunity to see the universe while she still can. Evelyn is distraught to be confronted with her secret, but suddenly realises that Cassie has forgotten about her young son, Tommy. Cassie is eventually able to remember him — with some coaxing from Evelyn — and goes berserk with grief, attacking Nimrod and promptly being shot straight through the heart with one of his crossbow bolts. Although Six and Evelyn manage to escape from the Forge, Evelyn can't cope with Cassie's death, and breaks down sobbing. Six, helpless, has no clue how to cope with the situation and simply tries to offer her some chocolate. In sorrow, she tells him that there are things that can't be fixed with chocolate, and she needs to be alone for a while, and their story is To Be Continued in "Arrangements For War". As for little Tommy...

Three and a half years later from Nimrod's perspective, and many centuries later for the TARDIS, the Seventh Doctor (travelling alone) happens upon the Forge again. Inside, he finds the Sixth Doctor working for Nimrod, claiming to have a plan — but unable to explain it.

Nimrod plans to use the gentle blue alien found in Norway, dubbed a Huldra after Norse legend, to open up an interdimensional portal. The rest of its species is just beyond space/time. When the Seventh Doctor decides to let them through, they retaliate to avenge the first Huldra's murder, instead of (as the Doctor had hoped) calmly engaging in diplomatic discussion. In the process, they rip Six's arm off.

The Seventh Doctor definitely doesn't remember losing an arm, so he quickly figures out that Six isn't Six. It's a clone, one of three, created by Nimrod to figure out the secret of regeneration. And to create an army of regenerative clones — Project: Lazarus. The two other clones died fairly quickly, one from a hearts attack because it wasn't viable, and one by having its throat slit by Nimrod in a failed attempt to induce regeneration. The remaining clone has all of Six's memories and personality, however, and is able to make "Contact!" with Seven, who's filled in on the rest of the story in the process.

The Huldra turn out to have a collective nervous system and telepathic pain receptors, which explains their aggression. Nimrods discards their plan to use them when he realises how weak that makes him. While Seven prepares to blow up the base, Clone-Six finds a room full of failed, mutated and discarded (but still conscious) versions of himself and learns that he's only three days old and full of implanted memories. After a brief Heroic B.S.O.D., he commits a Heroic Sacrifice and goes down along with the Forge.

The Seventh Doctor is quite shaken by the whole experience, and decides that maybe, it's time for him to go home.