EXCLUSIVE: Terrance Dicks extract from The Target Storybook

A brilliant new collection of spin-off stories from famous episodes throughout the history of Doctor Who will be published in The Target Storybook on the 24th October 2019 and we have an exclusive extract from Terrance Dicks’s story, Save Yourself.

Pre-order Doctor Who: The Target Storybook here.

illustration by mike collins
illustration by mike collins

Save Yourself by Terrance Dicks

The Doctor sat in a luxurious anteroom deep in the heart of the Capitol, the governing building of the Time Lords. He was waiting to hear if he would live or die. He had been condemned to death for Time Interference by the High Council according to the strict provisions of Time Lord law. Then a visitor from the mysterious Celestial Intervention Agency had told him of a possible way out. The Council apparently were still undecided.

The Doctor felt tired, as if he’d been waiting here a lifetime.

A guard appeared at the door. ‘Come, Doctor, they are ready for you.’

The Doctor was marched along a corridor and into a larger room. He stood gazing curiously around him. He was in a small audience hall with a circle of benches surrounding the Lord High Chancellor’s chair. Elaborately robed Time Lords occupied the seats.

‘Well, Doctor,’ said the Lord High Chancellor, ‘which is it to be, exile or death?’

‘Exile would suit you best,’ said the Doctor. ‘If I was executed there would be a terrible scandal. Disappearance into exile would give a better chance of hushing the whole thing up.’

‘It would also have the advantage of preserving your life,’ said the Lord High Chancellor.

‘A formidable argument,’ agreed the Doctor. ‘What do you want me to do?’

‘It’s a matter of a mission,’ said the Lord High Chancellor. ‘Several missions in fact. It has come to our notice, Doctor, that while your interference has sometimes run contrary to our interests, on other occasions it has assisted them. We have a number of missions in which, under our guidance and control, you can work for us.’

Oh, do you! thought the Doctor. But he said nothing.

They made an incongruous pair. The High Chancellor stood tall and stately in his owing robes. The Doctor’s check trousers were more than a little baggy. His well-worn black coat had seen better days, and his shirt was definitely wilting. His gently comical face was crowned by a mop of black hair.

‘Now to the first,’ said the Lord High Chancellor. ‘There is an unprepossessing planet called Karn in which we take some interest.’

‘In which you take considerable interest,’ said the Doctor. ‘Karn is the home of the Sacred Flame, which creates the Elixir of Life. Many Time Lords would have died without its restorative effect.’

‘Something we prefer to keep quiet about,’ said the Lord High Chancellor. ‘Now we have received word that Karn has been occupied by a hostile force.’

‘How did you receive word?’ said the Doctor.

The Lord High Chancellor paused. ‘You know, I am sure, that Karn is the home of the Sisterhood, a semi-supernatural cult. Personally, I believe its proceedings are little more than mystic mumbo-jumbo. However, it appears to have occasional erratic glimpses into the future. Recently, one of our telepaths received a message with the news I have given you, insisting that it was of vital importance to the Time Lord race. Whether this is true or not we simply do not know.’

To be continued…

Read the full story and many more in Doctor Who: The Target Storybook, published on the 24th October 2019. You can pre-order it here.

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