Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 070 Unregenerate

This episode takes place right after "Time And The Rani", and is notable for inspiring "The Doctor's Wife".

The Seventh Doctor is locked in a mental asylum, and seems to have gone stark raving mad. He's babbling like a small child and very confused about the whole situation. His fellow inmates are people from different races, all of which were lifted from their regular lives just hours before they were supposed to have died. At some point in their lives, they all signed consent forms to be experimented on after their deaths. And although most of them thought it was just an odd joke, even the ones who took it seriously never had this sort of thing in mind.

Mel and a cab driver sneak into the asylum, and quickly discover that the resident scientists are (a) not evil and (b) rather bad at computer coding. After some Hollywood Hacking, they find the Doctor and a fellow inmate: a compound creature named Shokhra, who inherently has six consciousnesses inside him.

The Doctor had been spying on the asylum when he realised what was going on: the scientists are part of the Gallifreyan Celestial Intervention Agency. And the asylum's inmates were being systematically overwritten with the minds of young TARDISes, who have been lifted out of their bodies and deposited in the computer system. The Time Lord C.I.A. wanted to establish TARDIS spies with flesh bodies in all societies that would eventually develop space/time travel. That way, excessive time travel could be prevented or shut down entirely if it ever got out of hand. But all of the experiments so far had been failures, since no species could properly contain a TARDIS consciousness. The Doctor, still suffering from regeneration trauma and firmly grasping hold of the Idiot Ball, managed to accidentally transport a baby TARDIS into his mind.

As it turns out, Shokhra had established a strong mind link to the Doctor, and was able to save the Doctor from having his mind overwritten. He absorbs the Doctor's mind and body into himself for a while to share the burden of having an anguished TARDIS mind roaming about inside them. They use the Doctor's symbiotic psychic link to his own TARDIS, who calms down the baby TARDIS and soothes her pain.

After the Doctor is restored to sanity and splits apart from Shokhra again, he also (rather amazingly) manages to convince the entire asylum staff that what they're doing is pretty much fascism. The entire group of Time Lords agrees to cancel the experiment and go back home. However, that still leaves a whole lot of baby TARDIS minds stored inside the asylum's inmates, going mad with the agony of being inside a flesh body. There's also a considerable amount of TARDISes still stored inside the computer system. The head of the asylum decides to make a Heroic Sacrifice and let one of them, which had been transferred into Shokhra, take over her own body — letting it wipe her own mind and erase all knowledge of the experiment, so that even the Time Lord mind probe experts could never retrieve the data. The young TARDIS is much more at home in a Time Lord body than in any other species, and with some mentoring from the Doctor's TARDIS, she's soon able to feel relatively stable in her new form. She and another young TARDIS decide to stay behind on the base to take care of the other TARDIS children and restore them all to sanity. Mel's cab driver decides to stay with them as well.