Needless to say, I don't own anything. In fact, I doubt I'm capable of owning such magnificence as these characters.
"Doctor?" came the Brigadier's voice. The Doctor was lying on his back under the TARDIS console with the doors open, fiddling with the wires. Lethbridge-Stewart walked into the TARDIS, bearing a few papers in one hand and his stick under the other.
"Ah, hello, Ms. Grant," he said, nodding to the Doctor's current companion, Jo Grant, who was sitting on the TARDIS console, swinging her legs.
"There's a report that an alien spaceship was seen near Devesham," he said. "Do you want to check it out?"
"Yes, whatever you say, old chap," the older man replied absently. The Brigadier waited patiently, exchanging a look with Jo. Exactly four and a half seconds later, the Doctor pulled himself out and climbed nimbly to his feet. He grabbed the papers the Brigadier was holding, speed-read all of them in a few seconds, grabbed his cape from where it was lying on a panel, and rushed out the doors.
"Come along, Jo, Brigadier, no use dawdling around!" he shouted over his shoulder. Shaking his head, Lethbridge-Stewart hurried out of the TARDIS after the Time Lord, catching up to him with Jo a couple of steps behind.
"He always does that, doesn't he?" Jo murmured.
"It can be rather irritating sometimes," agreed her superior. The Doctor suddenly stopped and swiveled to face them.
"I'm afraid I recognize the design of this spaceship. The builders are known as Scaneodiluvians, and they're very good at surveillance. This lot will probably be watching every major road in Britain from their spaceship, which will most likely be behind some sort of force field. We'll need to knock out their communication and/or surveillance systems if we want to bring a UNIT convoy up."
"Then we'll have to figure out some alternative transportation," decided the Brigadier. "We'll go up to these…Scaneodiluvians…and distract them long enough for Yates to bring up a fully armed UNIT convoy with the scientific van. There, you'll be able to knock out their force field and we can negotiate, fight, or both."
The Doctor took two more steps, then stopped and looked around suspiciously.
"What sort of alternative transportation?"
The Doctor stood in a London Underground station, with Sergeant Benton, the Brigadier, and Jo grouped around him, looking at the timetables. After a fair bit of arguing, he had been reluctantly persuaded by the Brigadier to take London public transport inconspicuously.
Or, rather, as inconspicuous as the Doctor could be on the Tube, which, as his UNIT friends were about to discover, wasn't very much. While Lethbridge-Stewart, Jo, and Benton were wearing civilian clothes and small backpacks containing military equipment, the Doctor wore his typical ruffled shirt, velvet jacket, and opera cape.
The young man in the ticket booth, watched the quartet walk up, obviously trying to keep a professional face and not gawp at the Doctor's clothing.
"Four tickets to Devesham, please," said the Brigadier.
"Sure. Would you like a senior discount, sir?" he asked the Doctor, indicating the list of prices.
"Well, you definitely qualify for that, Doc," said Benton.
"Show respect for your elders, Benton," said the Brigadier sternly, his moustache twitching upwards.
"Yes sir-er, Mr. Lethbridge-Stewart," he replied. Jo winked at him.
"I'll cough up a few coins for you, Brigadier," the Doctor said, ignoring Benton. This he proceeded to do, quite literally, seemingly producing a pound coin from his mouth, flipping it in the air, catching it, and lying it on the desk with a flourish. He then proceeded to pull a smaller coin from behind each ear.
"I'm sorry, sir, but you're still a few short," he said, counting up the change.
"You should have seen the last me," muttered the Doctor, searching his pockets. "Now he was a few short, in more ways than one."
Benton and the Brigadier both stifled snorts.
After rummaging in his pockets and removing a toy Batmobile, a variety of LEGO bricks, his sonic screwdriver, a bookmark with the Seal of Rassion on it, a bag of jelly babies which he offered around (no one else wanted one, so he popped one in his mouth and chewed thoughtfully), a yellow wire, and a coat hangar, he finally pulled out a coin purse filled with change from different eras. With the assistance of Benton, he managed to find enough (mostly from the right time period, although there was a 2p coin minted in 1991 that would cause a fair bit of trouble for the poor clerk when he tried to use it at the grocery store later that evening) money to pay for four tickets.
Once that ordeal was over, they got through the ticket machines without too much commotion, although a few people did stare at the strangely dressed man tugging his opera cape out of the gates of the turnstile, muttering a few words in what was, to them, gibberish, but was in fact Second Age North Venusian.(1)
As they went through the tunnels, the Doctor proceeded to talk loudly about the advertising posters hung on the walls ("Who would want to go to Bath? Went there once in the 1870s, horrible place,"), then proceeded to grab a copy of a Daily Telegraph someone had left lying around.
"Brings back memories of the first time we met, doesn't it, Doctor?" asked the Brigadier, looking around. "You, me, the Underground…."
"Except without the Great Intelligence, robot Yeti, and webs all over the place," the Doctor agreed.
"And that this time, of course, I am much more fashionable," he added, straightening his jacket. The Brigadier coughed into his fist.
"I feel as if I were there, too," said Benton, his brow furrowed. "Except that I couldn't have been…."(2)
"Well, I know I certainly wasn't," said Jo cheerfully.
They arrived at their tunnel, only to find that there had been a five-minute delay. This caused the three humans and their Time Lord companion to engage in an earnest criticism of the Underground and public transportation on Earth in general.
"It won't get much better over the next few decades, let me assure you," the Doctor said.
"T-Mat will improve things a little, but then you'll have to worry about the Ice Warriors taking it over."
A slightly guilty, slightly wistful look passed over his face(3) before he continued.
"Now, the Mars-Venus rocket run was always quite punctual." He started rummaging in his pockets again. "Have my license here somewhere…"
"Ice Warriors, Doctor? Should UNIT worry about them?"
"No, no, not to worry, my dear fellow, I'll tell you all about them when we get back…home. All you need to know is that the Martians prefer cold environments and are vulnerable to extreme heat."
"Martians?" asked Jo. "I don't suppose they happen to be little green men, do they?"
"No, big green men in heavy armor with built-in sonic cannon,"(4) shot back her mentor.
"Ah. I see," said the Brigadier calmly, forestalling one of their famous bantering matches.
"Not to worry, my dear fellow, I'm sure there will be some alien menace soon enough that you'll be able to shoot down."
"I look forward to it," responded Lethbridge-Stewart drily.
"Sounds like the train," said Benton, turning towards the end of the tunnel. Several other commuters rose from their benches and moved forwards, some dragging or wearing backpacks.
The train arrived and hissed slowly to a stop.
"Hmm," the Doctor murmured, observing the braking action. "Perhaps I ought to insert an anti-inertia device into Bessie's workings (5) when I get her back…."
"Sorry?" asked Benton.
"Nothing, dear chap, just thinking," smiled the Doctor apologetically.
Train Number 394 to Devesham. Please stand back from the doors. Please mind the gap!
Announced a pleasant female voice.
The Doctor stared at Jo.
"Good grief, Jo, do people really need to be told to mind the gap?"
"Honestly, Doctor, it's just a thing. Don't worry so much about it," said Jo.
"And you humans pay attention to 'things,' do you?"(6) asked the Doctor, garnering a few curious stares from the other commuters.
"Let's just find a seat," the common-sense Benton suggested. Although the car was crowded, all of them managed to find seats, the Doctor and Jo together, while the Brigadier sat opposite and Sergeant Benton a few seats down from him, ignoring the Doctor's disappointment that it was the same size inside and out.
The train rumbled off, clattering and clanking.
(1) This Doctor was quite fond of Venus and all things Venusian
(2) Funnily enough, he was, in a way. John Levene, famous for playing Sergeant Benton, first appeared as Yeti in the story being discussed, The Web of Fear.
(3) Check out the Second Doctor story The Seeds of Death to see why.
(4) If anyone gets the reference to a certain Seventh Doctor story, put it in a review and I'll give you a free imaginary bag of Jelly Babies!
(6) The Sontaran Stratagem, anyone?
Reviews, please? :)