When the First Doctor and his grand-daughter Susan escape through the cloisters of Gallifrey to an old Type 40 Time Travel capsule, little do they realise the adventures that lie ahead… And little do they know, as the TARDIS dematerialises and they leave their home world behind, there is someone else aboard the ship. He is Quadrigger Stoyn, and he is very unhappy…
THE FIRST FLIGHT (1)
On Gallifrey, the First Doctor and Susan are being pursued by several armed guards through a TARDIS repair shop. As Susan hides in one of the TARDISes, she hears The Doctor talking to someone, prompting The Doctor and Susan to swap with another TARDIS. Determined to leave their home, The Doctor and Susan steal the faulty old TARDIS, although The Doctor has very limited knowledge on how to properly operate one.
Upon escaping Gallifrey, the TARDIS materialises in the Sol system, near a planet that Susan recognises as Earth. They soon realise, however, that their escape has completely depleted the TARDIS’s faulty old engines, leaving them with seemingly no way home. They then realise that they are not alone on the TARDIS, as another Time Lord named Quadrigger Stoyn was also aboard the ship, taking apart the engine so that this TARDIS could be scrapped. Stoyn is upset at The Doctor and Susan for stealing the TARDIS with him aboard it, and is further distressed when The Doctor destroys the TARDIS’s homing device so that the Time Lords cannot find them, leaving them stranded with no way to get home.
Despite Stoyn’s protestations, The Doctor and Susan step outside to explore the planet — with The Doctor taking the TARDIS’s dematerialisation circuit as insurance — finding it to be in its primeval era with only the most primitive forms of life. With Stoyn following them, The Doctor and Susan eventually find that the planet is indeed inhabited by a form of intelligent life: a race of glob-like beings called Archaeons.
One of the Archaeons, known simply as the First Propagator, welcomes The Doctor, Susan, and Stoyn, and shows great curiosity about them. The three of them are led to an enormous cavern housing a strange cannon-like device that shoots red lightning at the planet’s moon, seeding life on it. When The Doctor realises that they are interfering with the development of this planet’s life he immediately protests, an action that the Archaeons consider to be heresy. As this goes on, the Archaeons begin disassembling the TARDIS, causing the stasis field to destabilise, forming a breach in space and time.
RED LIGHTNING (2)
Susan awakes to find herself in a hospital run by humans, where she learns that she was found in a 450 million yearold archaeological dig site. As she is being questioned, she can faintly hear The Doctor’s voice coming from somewhere. She eventually realises that the she is on Earth’s moon, and the Archaeons had actually been seeding life on Earth itself.
While being transported to the nearby Giant Leap Base, Stoyn mentally projects himself to Susan, claiming that he’s trying to bring her and her grandfather back, but Susan does not believe him and refuses to cooperate. Stoyn is then interrupted as the lunar rover that Susan is being transported on is assaulted by red lightning, like the kind the Archaeons were using. Eventually Susan finds that The Doctor is in the next bed over from her. After waking him up, she explores the rest of the lunar roveronly to find that the crew are all dead, killed by some sort of strange parasites.
As The Doctor tries to make sense of this all, he realises that the stasis field must have frozen him and Susan in time until they were recovered by the human archaeologists. Stoyn manages to get in touch with them once more through the rover’s communication devices, telling them that they need to come back and that the Archaeons are very angry with them for ruining their experiment. The Doctor attempts to warn the humans back at the moon base, but the link is cut off by more of the red lightning, knocking out the power at the base.
while The Doctor and Susan contemplate their next move, they are again contacted by Stoyn, who pleads with them to come back so they can all escape, but The Doctor refuses. Eventually they are taken back to the cavern by the Archaeons by force. Upon returning, The Doctor congratulates the Archaeons on creating such a beautiful world full of vibrant life. However, the First Propagator says that their experiment was a failure due to their interference and as a result Earth has become a disorderly mess of chaos. With Stoyn’s testimony against them, the Archeaons lay the blame of their failed experiment on The Doctor and Susan and decide to purge the Earth.
As the Archaeons fire upon Earth, Stoyn leads The Doctor and Susan back to the TARDIS, its engines now fully regenerated, where he tries to convince The Doctor to give him the dematerialisation circuit. As they argue, they come to realise that the humans are launching a retaliatory missile strike at the Archaeons. The Archaeons’ power begins to fail, at which point The Doctor decides to help them, thinking that the Time Lords will look more favourably upon them for restoring order when they catch up with them. The Doctor and Stoyn convince the Archaeons to let them use the TARDIS to power up their systems. When The Doctor refuses to turn the dematerialisation circuit over to Stoyn, he takes Susan as his hostage, offering to take her with him in the TARDIS, leaving The Doctor to face judgement at the hands of the Archaeons. As the Archaeons prepare to resume their bombardment, The Doctor cuts the cable, leaving the Archaeons defenceless. Susan gets away from Stoyn and runs back into the TARDIS where they close the doors on him. Stoyn begs to be let into the TARDIS, but both The Doctor and Susan decide it best to leave him behind. Stoyn vows to get his revenge on The Doctor.
As the TARDIS dematerialises, The Doctor and Susan see that the Archaeons’ weapon has been destroyed by a direct hit from the humans, leaving them defenceless. Still impressed by the Earth and its history, The Doctor attempts to make the TARDIS take them back to Earth. Instead, they end up on an alien planet, causing The Doctor, in his excitement, to forget all about Earth at the moment.
- The Beginning was the seventy-third release in the Companion Chronicles audio range.
- Susan claims that she was too young to understand the reasons why she and the Doctor left Gallifrey.
- The Doctor and Susan were being pursued by the Chancellery Guard.
- Susan describes The Doctor’s luggage as a large, bronze trunk that floated in the air.
- Given that the TARDIS‘ chameleon circuit is operational, this is one of the few Doctor Who stories in any medium in which the TARDIS appears in a form other than that of a police box.
- The Doctor finds a food machine in the TARDIS. (The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction)
- The Fourth Doctor later told that there were “pressing reasons” for his departure from Gallifrey. (Logopolis)