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Fanfic / Doctor Who and the Rambaldi Enigma

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Artwork by Marcus S Lazarus

Doctor Who and the Rambaldi Enigma by Rheanna is a crossover of Doctor Who and Alias that gives Sydney Bristow a unique opportunity to learn the truth about the mysterious Milo Rambaldi when she’s sent back in time to 1496, forcing her to join forces with the Doctor (currently in his third incarnation) to investigate the source of Rambaldi’s genius.

Doctor Who and the Rambaldi Enigma contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: The Doctor is shown using the psychic paper, which only appeared on TV in the Ninth Doctor’s era (although it was shown being used by the Second Doctor in the Past Doctor Adventures novel World Game)
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The Master ensures that the Doctor and Sydney will bring Rambaldi to him by injecting Rambaldi with a drug that will destroy his unique physiology, the Doctor noting that he doesn’t have the time to devise a treatment without knowing exactly what compound was used to affect Rambaldi in such a manner.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Rambaldi’s genius is due to him being linked to an alien life form.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The Doctor and Sydney have a debate about the result of Rambaldi’s actions in creating his inventions in the first place, Sydney objecting to Rambaldi unleashing such advanced technology on a relatively primitive society while the Doctor argues that knowledge in itself isn’t evil
  • Canon Welding: The Doctor and Sydney Bristow exist in the same universe; ‘nuff said.
  • Continuity Snarl: Potentially, as the Doctor and Sydney witness Rambaldi’s death as he falls into the Time Vortex rather than dying in a manner that would leave a body that could be buried, but it may be that the Doctor used his return trip to the fifteenth century to set up a fake chain of evidence that would suggest that Rambaldi was never anything more than human, which includes faking a conventional death.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Not only is Rambaldi’s time-travel device only capable of taking her on a one-way trip, but Sydney has to stay with the Doctor and investigate events in 1496 because the Doctor’s current exile means that the Time Lords have programmed the TARDIS only to let it make this specific trip to 1496, so the Doctor could only take Sydney back to UNIT in the 1970s if he tried to take her anywhere else on his own
  • Enemy Mine: A minor example, as Sydney and the Doctor join forces at first simply to evade the Vatican guards before Sydney realises the scale of what just happened to her
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Master attempts this when trying to convince Sydney to side with him, but it backfires because he reminds Sydney of Arvin Sloane.
  • Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: After the Path is activated, Sydney initially assumes that it set off an EMP that shut down power in the Vatican and the surrounding city before the Doctor clarifies that she’s actually travelled back in time.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Sydney comes across as this in contrast to the Third Doctor, who still has a relatively upbeat view of life and the universe despite his current exile where Sydney is bitter and frustrated at how many lives have been ruined through obsession with Milo Rambaldi's work in the future.
  • Oh, Crap!: Obviously, Sydney's reaction to realizing she's gone back in time to the 15th century.
  • Seen It All: At first, Sydney doesn't want to accept the time travel but then realizes that after everything else she's been through regarding Rambaldi, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
    • Likewise, she takes seeing the massive interior of the TARDIS pretty well to the point she doesn't even use the classic "it's bigger on the inside" line.
  • Status Quo Is God: At the story’s conclusion, the Doctor uses the Master’s TARDIS to take Sydney back to her time, but states that he will return to 1496 to reacquire his own ship because he doesn’t like the atmosphere of the Master’s TARDIS even if his old ship is still virtually immobilised by the Time Lords.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sydney specifically states that the Master reminds her of Arvin Sloane
  • Taking You with Me: The final act of Ramos/Rambaldi is to attack the Master, throwing both of them out of the Master’s TARDIS while it’s in flight; the Doctor muses that the Master might have some plan set up to save himself from such a scenario, but Ramos would have certainly died if he did that in his condition.
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: Despite his inventions having defined and ruined her life for years in her present, when Sydney actually meets Rambaldi she finds that he’s actually a somewhat shy figure who appears legitimately ignorant of the potential damage his creations could do, although her perspective shifts when she learns about his alien nature.