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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who CCS 5 E 1 The Guardian Of The Solar System

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"There isn't any choice! There's never any choice!"
Sara Kingdom

The "ghost" of Sara Kingdom relates the time that she, the Doctor, and Steven Taylor found themselves inside a giant clock, the great secret of Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System.

This story expands upon the events of "The Dalek Master Plan" from the point of view of Sara Kingdom.

Tropes

  • Ambiguous Ending: Robert, as the new vessel of The House, grants Sara's wish by summoning the TARDIS. He cautions Sara that The Doctor inside has changed almost as much as she has, and it's up to her whether she goes inside or if he sends the TARDIS away again. The story ends with Sara weighing up which path to take.
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  • Become a Real Boy: Robert wishes to switch places with Sara's mind. He becomes The House, and Sara is made human. Technically she has been reborn, but this version of Sara doesn't actually know when or where the original Sara died.
  • Character Aged with the Actor: When Sara is recreated as a human being, she notes that she is much older than when the original Sara created a copy of her mind, reflecting Jean Marsh being well into her 70s at the time of recording. Robert justifies it since, after over a millennium as The House, Sara feels ancient, and her new body reflects that.
  • Clock Tower: The TARDIS crew land inside a giant clock, which is ancient technology by Sara Kingdom's time. Or at least, that's what she believes at first.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: The clock is a mechanism that lies at the center of the Earth Empire. It actually bends space and time, keeping hyperspace travel possible. Its collapse would mean disaster for the Solar System, and yet it is kept a secret because the whole thing is based on slave labor and the general population would object strongly.
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  • I Just Want to Be Free: Sara Kingdom's motivation. She wants to be free from the house, free from the guilt of killing her brother, free to make her own choices and affect the world around her. She feels trapped, as the page quote demonstrates.
  • My Greatest Failure: She might not be the real Sara Kingdom, but the Sara featured here is still completely consumed with guilt over having killed her brother.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ties into Stable Time Loop below, as Sara’s attempt to change her history to save Brett and stop Chen’s turn to villainy apparently create the circumstances where they will die and join the Daleks respectively.
  • Spanner in the Works: The great clock controls its workers by psychically subduing them, but actively encourages their resistance, leaving them with the false hope that they'll be able to escape. This tricks them into keeping on working their hardest. Sara, absolutely desolate over realizing she can't save her brother, submits to the clock completely, and this allows her to evade its control.
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  • Stable Time Loop: Sara ended up travelling into her own past and having enough of an impact on Mavic Chen that he gave her the promotion that would bring her to Earth and get her tied up in "The Dalek Master Plan" in the first place. Though it's not outright confirmed, she also theorizes that her ranting to Bret about Chen's corruption might have given him the idea that he could trust her when he turned traitor, directly leading to her killing him in that story.
  • The Storyteller: Sara Kingdom
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Sara tries desperately to change the future, but it becomes clear that she cannot succeed.
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