Ryan was having a relaxing afternoon at home. The Doctor had dropped them off that morning, and he’d chatted with some friends online, eaten lunch, and taken a nap. He should have been studying for his NVQs, but instead he was goofing off on the internet. A few more minutes of reading listicles, he told himself, then he’d buckle down.
“Ryan! Get in here!” he heard Graham call from the front room. Noting the panic in his voice, he hurried out. In the front room, Graham was sitting in his rocking chair with a bag of crisps and the TV on. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, but he looked shocked.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I was just catching up on all the shows on the DVR since we’ve been gone. I put on Call the Midwife…”
“Granddad, I am not watching Call the Midwife with you. Avocado Pear’s birth was enough.”
“No, the Doc was on Call the Midwife. Except it wasn’t her. Look!” He unpaused the programme, and they both watched.
“A man flying in a box through space and time.” Ryan blinked. “She’s said she used to be a man.”
“How do they know about her? Or him, I guess?”
“I don’t know. But she needs to see this.” He got out his phone. Graham got up and started pushing his chair back. “What’re you doing?”
“I just bought this chair. I don’t want her breakin’ it too.” he grumbled.
Ten minutes later, the TARDIS materialized in the center of the front room (without breaking furniture). The Doctor stepped out.
“Hiya guys. What’s all this about me being in a television programme?” she asked.
“I’ll show you.” Graham rewound the scene and pressed play. “See, the ladies on the show, they’re watching a show, and it’s about..well, it’s about you.”
She scrunched her nose. “I’m a nun?”
“No, no, that’s Sister Monica Joan. Here it is!”
“Look! There I am!” she exclaimed, pointing to the small television on the screen. “They almost got my hair right too!”
“You were an old man?” Ryan raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah! I was really young back then, three hundred. The other Time Lords wouldn’t take me seriously unless I looked the part.” Her eyes were glued to the screen.
”I can’t be doing with this!” said Phyllis Crane “Grown men running about in fancy dress and making out a phone box can travel through space and time.”
The Doctor opened her mouth in incredulity and looked at the guys. “How daft!”
“There’s more.” Graham added. The Doctor resumed watching.
”Oh, but it’s so exciting!” exclaimed Sister Monica Joan. “The Doctor’s assistant has just been mistaken for an ancient high priestess who seeks to exploit her influence to outlaw human sacrifice!”
“Ohhh, that’s Barbara!” the Doctor smiled. “Old friend. She was brilliant! She ended up becoming a lecturer on the Aztecs!”
“So, this is you?” Ryan asked.
“Yeah.” she suddenly frowned. “This is bad. Very bad. They can’t be puttin’ shows on about me. Graham, tell them to erase it.”
“Doc, Call the Midwife is one of the BBC’s most popular shows. They’ll never erase an episode.” He explained. “Maybe we could get a cease and desist? Have you got a solicitor?”
“No, but we got to do somethin’. How did they know about me? Is somebody spyin’ on me? Who would have known about that trip to see the Aztecs? I don’t like it.” She paced around the room. “Can you play it again? Maybe we missed something the first time.”
Graham hit rewind. “I’m gonna put on the captions too.” He hit play. A strange melody played on the television.
DOCTOR WHO THEME PLAYS
“Wait. Doctor Who?” she asked.
“That must be what they call your show. In the programme.” Graham remarked. “What a silly name.” But she wasn’t paying attention. She was staring into the distance.
“Doctor Who. The oldest question. Hidden in plain sight.” She rolled up her coat sleeves and stared at her hands and arms. “No marks. Yet.” She turned to the guys. “It’s not spyin’. It’s a message.”
“From who?” asked Ryan.
“From a species I thought I had rid from this planet fifty years ago. But they’re back! How are they back!?” She turned to the guys. “Do you feel Earth civilization has strayed off course lately?”
“Let’s see…Brexit, white supremacy, nothin’ being done about climate change, America is a shitmess..yeah, I’d say so.” Ryan told her.
“It’s them. Changin’ the fate of this planet. Get in the TARDIS, quick! Where’s Yaz?” she rushed to the police box door.
“Think she’s workin’ today.” Graham replied.
“We’ll fill her in later. We need to go now.” She practically shoved him inside and went to the controls.
“Doctor, what’s going on? What are we gonna do?” Ryan asked.
She turned to him, with her eyes burning with the intensity of a thousand stars:
“Silence must fall.”