Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who 115 Forty Five
As the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex land at an excavation in Egypt (one of Carter's early ones), Hex hears an odd psychic message: "remember Thoth". The excavation team is just unearthing a tomb filled with forty-five miniature clay soldiers, which are supposed to guide a soul to the afterlife. While Ace befriends her Girl of the Week
(a student named Jane), Hex and the Doctor realise that one of the clay soldiers is missing. Soon enough, though, everyone is trapped in a sudden surge in time, and Ace and Jane are thrown into the far future and almost killed by a guard robot. Jane isn't even remotely phased by that, and helps Ace escape — in her own TARDIS, which had spent countless centuries accidentally buring in the tomb, disguised as a clay soldier. She and a classmate were Gallifreyan Academy students (year forty-five), who landed on Earth during an interstellar field trip and accidentally got Mistaken for Gods
in ancient Egypt. Jane, who'd become known as Thoth, was said to have changed the course of the sun. Since her TARDIS is no longer viable, Jane now finds herself forced to perform a Mercy Killing
on her. But, terrified at the idea of the Doctor taking her back to Gallifrey for a trial (impersonating Gods is a pretty big offence), she teleports herself and her TARDIS into the sun in the far past, altering its course and making her divine reputation a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
. The Doctor is wrecked with guilt over indirectly having caused her death, and Ace and Hex wonder who would end up telling the story to the ancient Egyptians.
Order of Simplicity
The Seventh Doctor intercepts a message from an old professor, Dr. Verryman, and visits the man's creepy old manor together with Ace and Hex. The professor has been trying to solve a code and has sent out a distress signal for that purpose. The Doctor is quite pertubed to find out what the code would do: make every human in the world a genius. Since that kind of meddling is very bad
, he hopes to convince Verryman to stop the experiment, but Verryman reveals that he's already in too deep. Since he's tested the code on himself, he has increasingly shortened periods of being a genius, after which his intelligence is reduced to an IQ of only forty-five and he's forced to step into his own machine again. And what's worse, the code is also a virus, and it's spread to the Doctor.
Hex, meanwhile, discovers that Verryman has Benedict Cumberbatch
locked in his attic. Cumberbatch, the original creator of the code, has been reduced to a mindless animal, which will be Verryman's fate soon enough as well. While Ace saves Hex from the locked room, the old housekeeper reveals herself to be part of a cult that started all this: the Order of Simplicity, which hopes to eradicate intelligence everyone through the machine, and return nature to a blissfully dumb state. The Doctor points out her hypocrisy in using a machine to do so, and is very frightened when she reveals what the code would do: after enhacing its victims' intelligence, they would be unable to resist solving the code, which would unleash the sapping of all human intelligence. With his own mind slowly deteriorating, the Doctor hooks himself into the machine, re-directs it into Benedict Cumberbatch
's mind and shuts off his own body just in time for the code to activate. With only Cumberbatch's animal IQ to go by, the code collapses in on itself.
Casualties of War
The Seventh Doctor tracks a time disturbance and ends up in 1945, where Ace realises they're right outside the place her mom grew up. Ace's dodgy great-uncle Joey has been collecting equally dodgy alien artifacts, and has gotten his hands on one that forces people to tell the truth. While Hex and the Doctor investigate the bar, Ace introduces herself to her great-grandmother and her three-year-old mom Audrey, pretending to be from the war office. (Kathleen
is out for the day.) Also on the trail of the artifacts is the Forge, who punch Ace in the face and manage to get away with the artifact collection. The Doctor and Hex manage to track down Joey, but he uses his gadget to force them into telling the truth — Hex into confessing he's just a bit smitten with Ace, and the Doctor into confessing who Hex' mother was
... but just before the Doctor's about to reveal his secret to Hex, the Forge step in, cut off Joey's arm holding the artifact, and warn the Doctor about interfering in their affairs. Hex convinces himself that the Doctor was just lying about knowing anything about Hex' mom. The Doctor tells Ace's great-nan the bad news — and while the old woman cries her heart out, Ace has a moment with her mom, tucks the little girl in, kisses her and quitly leaves.
The Word Lord
The Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex arrive in 2045, at a military base on the South Pole. They're promptly captured and interrogated for the murder of a diplomat, which took place just moments before. The base is always in complete lock-down: no recording equipment, music players or even books (apart from the safety guidelines manual) are allowed on-site. Everything is recorded and wiped after only forty-five minutes. Team TARDIS is soon rescued from interrogation by Commander Claire Spencer, who's actually read UNIT's files on the Doctor, and they're asked to help solve the murder.
The Doctor soon realises that the phrase "forty-five" has been following them around for weeks, and discovers with horror that the phrase is the CORDIS — TARDIS equivalent — of a renegade Word Lord from a dimension composed entirely of language. He ushers all the base's personnel into his TARDIS for protection (who are all very freaked out at no longer needing their translators), puts Hex on research duty and has Ace go into the TARDIS along with the soldiers to protect them. Unfortunately, said Word Lord has named himself Nobody No-One, and any phrase containing his name (say, "No one can enter this base unnoticed" or "Nobody can get into the TARDIS to hurt these men"...) makes him pretty much all-powerful. Nobody promptly becomes corporeal right in the TARDIS console room, avoids the state of temporal grace entirely, murders every last soldier and very happily starts mocking Ace in manic hyperactive glee. The Doctor is absolutely terrified
of his new Evil Counterpart
, but eventually, with the help of his companions, reverses the polarity of the TARDIS' translation circuit and confuses the Word Lord into submission by making everything
gibberish. Sadly, Spencer makes a Heroic Sacrifice
in the process to buy the Doctor more time, after revealing she's already met the Doctor in his own future.
With no language to thrive in, Nobody No-One is forced to seek refuge in the only bit of language left in the entire base — the guidelines manual. The Doctor has the TARDIS translation circuits scramble the soldiers' memories of the Word Lord into gibberish as well, neatly trapping the villain in the book forever. It doesn't last, though — as soon as someone calls out "Nobody move!", the Word Lord is free again.
- Alternate Universe: The Word Lord is from one where letters have the same value as numbers do in ours. And he is their equivalent of a Time-Lord.
- Ancient Tomb: False Gods involves one from Ancient Egypt.
- Antagonist Title: The Order of Simplicity, and the Word Lord.
- Arc Number: Forty Five. Especially in the Word Lord.
- Awful Truth: The Doctor is forced to tell the truth about Hex's mother, but Hex thinks the Doctor managed to overpower a Psionic Charge.
- The Bad Guy Wins: In both "Casualties of War" and "The Word Lord".
- Berserk Button: Ace absolutely loses it when people get shot in the TARDIS in the Word Lord.
- Big Damn Villains: The Forge, in "Casualties of War".
- Bounty Hunter: Nobody No-One.
- Call Back: The events of No Man's Land are recalled in Casualties of War, and the Doctor is forced to tell Hex about Project Lazarus.
- Cannot Spit It Out: The Doctor becomes forced to tell Hex that his mother, Cassie, was murdered by the Forge. He manages to keep silent, and Hex remains blissfully unaware for now and convinces himself it was nothing.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Joey due to leakage from the Truthsayer.
- Captain Obvious: When Ace is confronted with another TARDIS her first question is to ask: "You're a time-traveller!?"
- Cassandra Truth: Ms. Merchant says that it doesn't matter what she does with Joey, Doctor and Hex, nobody would ever believe them.
- Computer Voice: "SYSTEM"
- Death World: Earth turns into one in the future as seen in False Gods, the ozone layer has all but vanished, the sun has become a red giant, and exposure to its rays causes instant burns.
- Driven to Suicide: Jane, because she fears the wrath of the Time-Lords, takes her dying TARDIS into the past, and causes the very event that gave her the name Toth.
- Exact Words: Nobody No-One's main thing. Since his world consists of words, anyone saying things like "nobody could do that!" can make him all-powerful.
- Faux Affably Evil: Nobody No-One, so much.
- Frazetta Man: Two of Dr. Verryman's former colleagues had been reduced so much they became ape creatures, akin to Homo Erectus.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Literally with the Word Lord. Just say "Nobody can..." and he can.
- Fusion Dance: The Order of Simplicity are many lives in one, manifesting in Mrs. Crisp.
- A God Am I: Nobody No-One compares himself to one.
- God Guise: Jane inadvertently became Thoth.
- Have We Met Yet?: Commander Claire Spencer has met the Doctor before, but he was older then.
- Historical-Domain Character: Howard Carter, the discoverer of Tutankhamun's Tomb.
- Hurl It into the Sun: How to destroy a TARDIS. This happens to Jane's TARDIS.
- Holding the Floor: In the Word Lord the Doctor keeps Nobody No-One busy in time for Hex and Ace to fiddle with the TARDIS.
- The Home Front: In Casualties of War.
- Incoming Ham: "You! You're here! You came!" from Dr Verryman.
- Killer Robot: "Neutraliser" Robots
- Locked Room Mystery: In The Word Lord, and the Doctor happens to appear in the locked room.
- Logic Bomb: How the Doctor defeats Nobody No-One. For a while.
- Madman in the Attic: In Order of Simplicity, Dr. Verryman keeps two former victims in the third room on the third floor.
- The Man Behind the Man: Mrs. Crisp.
- Mistaken for Gods: Jane and her classmate.
- My Local: The bar Ace knew as a kid is the main setting of "Casualties of War".
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: People who say "Nobody" can do something...
- Oh My Gods!: As Dr Verryman says "In the name of the six chinned sages of Saturn's rings!"
- Phlebotinum-Induced Stupidity: A written virus which slowly drains your intelligence.
- Prehistoric Monster: A Creadont accidentally shows up in False Gods.
- Prepare to Die: A robot in the future tells Ace and Jane to prepare for neutralisation.
- Professor Guinea Pig: In "Order of Simplicity".
- Psycho for Hire: Nobody No-One. Doesn't much care about the rewards, wanting to hunt down the most dangerous creatures across the Multiverse and takes pleasure in killing, wanting to take Hex despite the small reward.
- Ray Gun: In World War II, even.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Commander Claire Spencer. Who allows the Doctor to address her on a First-Name Basis.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Jane's fate.
- Sequel Episode: "Casualties of War" is one to "The Curse Of Fenric".
- Shout-Out: Hex says the bunker in The Word Lord looks like the Death star.
- A Spot Of Tea: Ace gets ordered to make some in False Gods, and the first thing Dr. Verryman demands when he enters the story in Order of Simplicity is that the kettle gets popped on.
- Swiss Cheese Security: Completely the opposite direction in The Word Lord. The bunker is so secure there are no insects in it. They have a spider, kept as a pet.
- Taking the Bullet: Commander Claire Spencer takes one for the Doctor, in order to buy him time.
- Time Travel: And not just the TARDIS in False Gods. A localized time field shunts Ace and Jane Templeton into the future where it's a Death World.
- Translator Microbes: Foreign diplomats are all sent into the TARDIS for safekeeping, and suddenly find them not needing their interpreters any more.
- Truth Beam: A Psionic Projector built into a bracelet.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Nobody No-One escapes the book when a soldier shouts "Nobody move!"
- Writing Around Trademarks: Nobody No-One acts like a psychotic version of the Tenth Doctor.
- You Know the One: Nobody No-One gets this treatment after he vanishes.