11: O! Call Back Yesterday, Bid Time Return!

‘If I'd known I was helping a Jagaroth,’ Romana murmured.

Duggan frowned. ‘Jagaroth?’ he nearly shouted.

‘Sssh!’ hissed the Doctor.

‘Sorry.’ Duggan lowered his voice. ‘What the hell's a Jagaroth?’

The Time Lord looked grim. ‘They're not nice to know.’

‘When I worked in the records department I came across the file,’ Romana agreed. ‘What a terrible waste of life. They had a horrific bacterial war which wiped out their entire race.’

‘Except for the ones who made it to Earth four hundred million years ago,’ said the Doctor. ‘I bet they weren't mentioned by the Bureau of Ancient Records.’

‘So that's why he had to go back in time! He had to reverse history in order to save the Jagaroth race.’ Romana's face fell. ‘And I've made that possible.’

The Doctor nodded solemnly. ‘Yes. Without the stabiliser he only had the time bubble.’

Duggan cut in. Here, at least, was something Duggan had an understanding of. ‘And he couldn't get into that. You saw what happened to the Professor - and the chicken.’

Romana nodded. ‘It doesn't travel in time, it just goes forward and backward in its own life cycle. If he'd got into it he would have become a baby again.’

‘What he was really trying to do,’ the Doctor informed them, ‘was put the whole world into the bubble, like those time-slips when we first arrived.’

‘Of course!’ exclaimed Romana.

‘Cracks in time,’ the Doctor continued. ‘He shifted the world back in time only for two seconds, but what he was trying to do was shift the whole world back in time four hundred million years.’

‘But without the stabiliser he couldn't have been there himself to save his ship.’ Romana looked perplexed. ‘But how would he get the power? It would have been fantastic!’

The Doctor sighed. ‘It's a bit obvious, isn't it? What do you think we've been chasing about all this time?’

The answer suddenly hit Duggan like a punch in the face might have done had Hermann been in the room. ‘The Mona Lisa!’ he cried. ‘Lisas,’ he corrected himself.

There was a short silence, and then the Doctor chuckled. ‘He couldn't have sold them anyway,’ he grinned.

‘Why not?’ Duggan wanted to know.

‘Well,’ said the Doctor with a modest grin, ‘before Leonardo painted them, I wrote ‘THIS IS A FAKE!’ on the canvas of each painting - in felt tip. It would show up under any x-ray.’

Romana looked worried. ‘Doctor, there won't be any x-rays for it to show up on if he gets back to that ship.’

‘No,’ the Doctor snapped accusingly, ‘because you supplied him with the vital component he needed.’

Now it was Romana's turn to wear a modest grin. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘but when I made that component, I rigged it so it could only go back in time for two minutes. After that he'd be catapulted forwards back to his own time here. Now he couldn't do any harm!’

One minute would be sufficient time for him to go back, contact his ship and prevent it from exploding,’ objected the Doctor. ‘He wouldn't then be splintered in time and history would be changed.’

‘We must do something to stop him!’ Romana insisted.

The Doctor nodded, and then suddenly his eyes lit up. He drew Romana closer and whispered, ‘I've got an idea.’

‘What?’ she whispered back.

A pause.

‘We'll ask Duggan!’

Romana's eyes lit up as well. The two Gallifreyans turned and called simultaneously, ‘Duggan!’

Duggan completed the triumvirate of modest grins. He knew exactly what they wanted. It was nice to have his talents appreciated once in a while. ‘Right! Stand back!’

It would have been unwise of them not to.

Duggan gritted his teeth, charged forward and smashed the cell door open with his shoulder. Unable to halt his lunge, he continued his charge until he was tangled in a heap of laboratory equipment on the floor.

The Doctor and Romana exchanged smiles of satisfaction and then both walked out of the cell.

The Jagaroth stood in the centre of the time machine, the Countess' gun in its hand. ‘You now see me as I truly am,’ it said.

The Doctor nodded. ‘Very pretty.’

And now you will see the combination of my lives' work.

‘How very fulfilling for you,’ the Doctor mused.

The Jagaroth ignored him. ‘For thousands upon thousands of years my various splintered selves have been working for this moment. And now, with the aid of this device -’ he gestured to the field interface stabiliser that was now wired into the console beside him. ‘- so kindly supplied by the young lady, I shall be able to make this primitive equipment into a fully operational time machine.’ Romana dared to smile.

The Jagaroth noticed her expression. ‘I am well aware of the limitations that were built into it, my dear. They will not affect the outcome. I shall return to my spaceship the moment before it exploded and stop myself from trying to take off.’ The Jagaroth waved a hand towards the control panel. ‘You will not be able to read the settings on the dial, Doctor. They will explode the moment I have left.

The Doctor shrugged. ‘Win some, lose some.’

The Jagaroth almost nodded. ‘Goodbye, Doctor.’ Whilst it covered the trio with the gun in one hand, the Jagaroth used the its other hand to operate the stabiliser. The machine hummed, the projectors pulsed, and the creature disappeared. There was a flash and then the control panel and the field interface stabiliser exploded.

‘Well that's got rid of that, then,’ murmured the Doctor, once they had all finished coughing from the smoke that filled the air.

‘I need a drink,’ muttered Duggan.

The Doctor examined the remains of the control panel and frowned. ‘The fool! He's destroyed the fast return mechanism!’

Duggan frowned as well. ‘What does that mean?’

‘It means we're going on a journey,’ replied the Doctor, and bounded up the stairs. Romana and Duggan ran after him.

‘Where to?’ Duggan called.

‘Four hundred million years ago.’


‘Don't ask,’ the Doctor advised, hurrying down the hallway of the château.

‘But we haven't got the time/space co-ordinates!’ Romana reminded him.

‘We don't need them,’ the Doctor grinned. ‘The Jagaroth will leave a trace in time. And at the speed he's travelling, we should have no trouble in catching up with him.’ He entered the lounge and stopped.

His companions came to a halt behind him, and Romana peered over his shoulder. ‘The Countess!’

The Doctor knelt beside the body and examined it briefly. ‘She's dead,’ he murmured.

‘How?’ asked Duggan.

‘A massive, slow-moving electric shock.’ The Doctor unclipped the bracelet from her wrist. ‘From this little device, I should imagine,’ he said distastefully. He stood up and deliberately brought his foot down hard on the bracelet, reducing it to dust.

Duggan took the opportunity to have the drink he so badly needed.

The Doctor opened up the concealed bookcase and rummaged through it before catching sight of what it was he was after lying discarded on the table. He snatched it up.

‘If anything should go wrong, I'd hate anything to happen to this,’ he told Romana and Duggan, as he stowed the leather-bound authorial manuscript of Hamlet in his coat pocket.

Within minutes they were once again running through the crowded streets of Paris. Duggan fought madly to keep up with the two time travellers. It occurred to him that if he'd learnt anything during his time as a police officer, it was that the only people who could run faster than police were people used to running away from police.

The Doctor tried in vain to hail a taxi amidst the crowded traffic, but was ignored. ‘Is nobody interested in history?’ he shouted, but his words were drowned out in the noise of the Tuesday rush-hour.

It seemed that they would have to run all the way to the Denise René gallery after all.

The merchant banker surveyed the exhibit before him with an awkward frown. This was one of the more interesting things he had seen since his arrival in Paris on holiday last week. He had seen almost everything - he had seen a production of Faust at the Paris Opera House, he had visited the Eiffel Tower and the Nôtre Dame cathedral, he had had an abstract drawing done of himself by a man wearing a tweed suit and a beret. His visit to the Louvre had been spoilt by some stupid man who'd fainted in front of a picture - okay, he agreed that the Mona Lisa was a good painting but not to the point of fainting over it. And now, here he was in the Denise René gallery, talking with a mysterious female fellow-Briton whom he had barely met. His colleagues back in London would never believe it.

‘For me,’ he said, ‘one of the most curious things about this piece is its wonderful...’ he searched desperately for a word that would both fit his sentence and sound impressive, ‘...afunctionalism.’ He smiled. Now there was an impressive word, worthy of a merchant banker of his status.

The woman nodded. ‘Yes,’ she said as she stared intently at the exhibit, ‘yes, I see what you mean. Divorced from its function and seen purely as a piece of art, its structure of light and colour is curiously counter-pointed by the redundant vestiges of its function.’ She, too, was pleased with her little summary of the object. She could not believe she had found her soul mate at last. She would never believe him when he finally confessed what he did for a living.

The merchant banker pursed his lips and nodded. ‘And since it has no call to be here, the art lies in the fact that it is here.’

A moment later it wasn't. Three people pushed past, went inside it, and then it disappeared with a wheezing groaning sound.

They were both lost for words.

‘Exquisite,’ said the woman at last, ‘absolutely exquisite.’

The central column rose and fell as the Doctor operated various controls on the TARDIS console. Romana watched the Doctor and tried not to get in the way, while Duggan stood at the door, his mouth hanging open in amazement at the impossibly large room around him.

There was a bleep from the console. The Doctor went over to the panel it came from and checked the instrumentation, then gave a satisfied smile. ‘ Ah! There is it!’

Duggan frowned and stayed where he was. ‘There what is?’

‘The Jagaroth. I've located him. He's nearly arrived, but I should be able to get us there a bit before him.’ The Doctor noticed Romana eyeing the disconnected randomiser that rested on one of the control panels. ‘We won't be needing that if we're going to catch Scaroth.’

‘Who?’ asked Romana.

‘The Jagaroth. His name's Scaroth. Didn't I tell you?’


‘Well, I have now, so that's all right.’


‘Good. Go on, Duggan.’

Duggan looked puzzled. It had been his permanent expression since setting foot inside the TARDIS. ‘What?’

The Doctor grinned. ‘Ask me why it's bigger on the inside than on the out!’

‘But it is!’

‘I know that! The question is, do you? Or do you think this is all just some optical illusion?’

‘When you've seen seven Mona Lisas you'll believe anything,’ said Duggan. ‘Tell me how it works.’

‘I'll get K9 to explain it to you,’ the Doctor told him.

Duggan nodded, looking like he was going to cry if the world conspired to bewilder him any further today.

The Doctor turned and hollered, ‘K9!’

The inner door swung open and in trundled something Duggan could only assume was a robot dog. Presumably the name was supposed to be some form of bad pun.

The Doctor knelt down and whispered to the dog, ‘K9, how's your laryngitis?’

‘Laryngitis is completely cured, Master,’ replied a tinny voice from within the robot dog.

‘No it isn't!’ cried the Doctor indignantly, getting to his feet. ‘What's happened to your voice?’


‘Your voice has changed!’ This seemed to be a regular thing with his companions these days - what with Leela's eye colour, Romana's recent regeneration and now K9's voice.

K9's ears whirred as his sensors checked to see if the observation the Doctor had made was accurate. ‘Affirmative, Master. Nanites have restructured vocal chords, resulting in slight voice change,’ K9 agreed.

‘Oh well,’ said the Doctor glumly. ‘I suppose I'll have to live with it. K9, this is Duggan.’

‘Greetings, Duggan,’ said K9, and his antenna tail wagged.

‘It's a robot dog that talks,’ said Duggan feebly.

‘Explain to Duggan how the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than on the out,’ the Doctor instructed K9.

‘No, please, don't,’ begged Duggan, ‘I'd rather not know.’

The Doctor shrugged. ‘Suit yourself.’

‘I knew I shouldn't have had that drink,’ Duggan muttered to himself. ‘You still haven't explained why it will take the Jagaroth so long to travel back in time.’

‘Because there's always time involved in time travel. Even a TARDIS will take longer to travel four hundred million years than it will four minutes. Scaroth has damaged the fast return mechanism on his machine. Rather than being instantly transported back four hundred million years, he'll be taking the overnight train. With a bit of luck, we'll beat him there.’

As he spoke, the time rotor came to a halt.

‘We've arrived,’ said the Doctor.

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