The Glamour Chase
‘Why are you here? I mean – who are you, exactly?’
An archaeological dig in 1936 unearths relics of another time… And – as the Doctor, Amy and Rory realise – another place. Another planet. But if Enola Porter, noted adventuress, has really found evidence of an alien civilisation, how come she isn’t famous? Why has Rory never heard of her? Added to that, since Amy’s been travelling with him for a while now, why does she now think the Doctor is from Mars?
As the ancient spaceship reactivates, the Doctor discovers that nothing and no one can be trusted. The things that seem most real could actually be literal fabrications – and very deadly indeed. Who can the Doctor believe when no one is whAt They seem? And how can he defeat an enemy who can bend matter itself to their will? For the Doctor, Amy and Rory – and all of humanity – the buried secrets of the past are very much a threat to the present…
The Doctor once arrived on a planet and saved it from a massive thing that was rotting away its core. The soul of the planet was dying and the Doctor stopped it and saved billions of people. In return he asked for nothing other than dinner with one family. They offered him the Glamour as a reward but he refused, mainly because he didn’t know whAt They meant but even when they had explained he still said no. he told them about his friends and his enemies and his many travels. They told him of their star system and their friends and enemies, too. Then they begged him to stay but he said he had to go. As he opened the door of the TARDIS a girl pushed past him saying that it would be fantastic to travel in space and that was her dream. He said that, because he had a time machine, he would find her when she did voyage through the stars. He gave her a green sphere that would call him to her whenever she wanted. He gave her a quick ride in the TARDIS to show her a new star system being born and then dropped her home before anyone had even missed her. She ran back to her family, clutching the green ball in her palm.
With the crew of the WSS Exalted in stasis and their ship losing hull integrity the Commander and 3 try to put out a fire in their consoles. When the extinguisher fails, 3 absorbs it into his body and uses it to nourish his body. The ship enters a star system. The Commander records a message that her ship has evaded the Tahnn ships that were in pursuit but probably only temporarily. Only six of the crew are still conscious and she has to reassign the internal structure of the ship to the hull. She requests that anyone receiving her message sends immediate aid. Then she hands the black box recorder to 3 and asks him to 3 and asks him to launch it. As he leaves the bridge he hears the Commander, 128, ordering the helm to bury the ship on the third planet from the sun.
As he walks through the corridors, 3 absorbs the walls and furniture of the ship and then sends it back out to thicken the exterior skin of the ship. On his way he meets the Counselor. Together they eject the black box from the exhaust tubes and then back to the stasis chambers. 3 ensures that The rest of the crew are safely in stasis before entering his own chamber and falling into unconsciousness. Thus none of the crew feel the ship as it buries itself deep into the soft soil of a planet in order to repair itself.
The crash landing is observed by Wulf and Owain. They, like the rest of their tribe, think that The Sky Gods have sent them a gift. They dig beneath the vast object so that it sinks deeper into the ground and then bury it beneath damp soil brought from the coast. Hundreds of years pass and myths build up around the mound: it contains a god, a chieftain, a rock from the stars. Four thousand years later Enola Porter, an amateur archeologist in Norfolk, puts her shovel through the hull of the Exalted.
On a summer’s day in Little Cadthorpe, 14 August 1928, Oliver Marks is walking with his fiancée Daisy Conlan. He is a veteran of the Great War and still affected by the horrors of battle but, for now, he has found true happiness in love. The couple spends their time chattering happily about their future marriage and the children they plan to have together when a whining noise in the air and a blast of heat alarm them. They step out onto the village green when something shimmers in front Of them and out of thin air step twenty alien creatures. They are tall, six foot six, and armoured. Each carries a short, thick gun. They start to herd the villagers in front Of them and one man aims a punch At The nearest alien. He is shot by a heat ray that leaves only a charred skeleton. Panic ensues and as the villagers try to run they are all cut down in a blaze of shooting. Houses, trees and cars ignite among the slaughter. Daisy tells Oliver to run and grabs his wrist. He is rooted to the spot and when he realises it is time to go it is too late. Daisy has been shot away from him and so has his hand. Silence falls. Oliver is the only survivor of a massacre that lasted less than a minute. An alien with a prune-like face advances on him. His breath is harsh and smells of gas. He asks Oliver where the Weave are. Unable to comprehend, Oliver does not answer. He screams and faints.
Waking in the dark, Commander 128 smells the damp. This is bad, because the chambers should be protected against such things. She finds that The power switches are dead which is disturbing: they should have power to have lasted for aeons since the crash. She forces the lid from her chamber and slides out. The ship is tilted at a steep angle. The only light is from a single lamp. The casket belonging to 3 is open but none of the others are. She calls 3’s name but there is no answer. She opens the chamber beside hers and the tactical officer slides out. He wakes groggily and remarks that They survived the crash. 3 returns to tell them that They are on a planet called Earth and that he has been awake for two days. He says that There are no signs of Tahnn activity and the local life does not seem likely to have encountered extra-terrestrials. The ship is damaged but not irreparably.
Together 3 and 128 climb up through a hole that 3 has dug. They look at a blue sky and abundant vegetation. 3 tells her that The locals are of a similar shape and size to the Exalted crew which means that They can be replicated easily. She sends 3 out to obtain one of the locals. While he is away she returns to the ship to oversee the revival of the crew. While most are pulled alive from their chambers, there are two corpses to be mourned. 128 tells the survivors that They will need to integrate with the local population while they find a way to repair and repower the ship. She chooses a small party to join her and tells the others to stay awake to re-energise for as long as possible.
The TARDIS lands in a field. Stepping out, the Doctor tumbles down a slope and lands in sheep dip. In an attempt to recover his dignity and composure, he berates Rory who is standing At The top of the slope. Rory refuses to reciprocate in the banter due to the shotgun being pointed at his face. The Doctor climbs the slope and finds two men, one older and the other with a shotgun. The Doctor greets them with his familiar bluster, takes the gun and removes the shells before returning it. He looks around for Amy. He shows his psychic paper to the older man, a landowner called Nathaniel Porter. Porter asks the younger man, Benson, to read the ‘credentials’ which show the Doctor to be an inspector from Scotland Yard. The two men assume that The Doctor is here to investigate complaints about ‘the dig’. They seem to assume that The TARDIS is some kind of portable camp. Porter invites them to follow him to The Manse while Benson looks for Amy.
As they cross the fields the Doctor and Rory lag back to discuss the fact that Porter couldn’t read the psychic paper. The Doctor also tells Rory that They are in the 1930s. from their raised vantage point they can look down into the village and see that The schoolyard has been dug up by archeologists. Rory asks if this is anything to do with the distress call that The Doctor is answering. Amy appears suddenly between them and Porter invites all three to stay At The Manse rather than find lodgings. They follow him down into the village where Rory feels a shiver of apprehension as they step onto the road.
The Manse is a vast house. At its door they are greeted by Chivers, Porter’s manservant. Porter tells them that The house dates to 1824 and its name is a joke (a manse being a residence for church officials: the village has no church). They also learn that They are in Shalford Heights and that it is 1936. The house is single storied for the most part and has three wings leading off from the hall. There are two prominent pictures of Porter’s two wives: his first wife ‘is not buried locally’ and his second is much younger than Porter. Chivers leads them down the corridor to their rooms. Amy tells them that she is going to meet up with Tom (Benson) to see what she can find out. The Doctor tells Rory to check the school library after lunch.
In the dining room they meet a man in a wheelchair. Although he only looks about 35 his hair is grey and his face seems devoid of life. This is odd considering the man’s complaints about his complaints to the manservant that he can actually walk. The Doctor greets him and guides him to the table. The man is Oliver marks. Marks says that he was a friend of the first Mrs porter but Nathaniel lets him stay in the house. He then adds, strangely, that he smells things. He promptly goes rigid and announces that he can smell ‘them’. He adds that he can smell gas and fire and that ‘they’ are coming back for him. Nathaniel and Chivers sweep into the room and say they will take care of Oliver. As they wheel him away Nathaniel says that They will sedate him to let him sleep.
Rory suggests to the Doctor that Oliver is suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the war. The Doctor doubts that it is the war and wonders who ‘they’ might be. He says he will go and entertain him while the other two are out. Porter promptly appears with Old John, a servant with a limp. The Doctor tells Old john that he and his companions have come about the dig and leads him away. Amy and Rory look about for Porter but he has gone as quickly as he arrived.
The Doctor asks Old john he has worked there. he says he has been there ‘forever. He was the gardener under the ‘real’ Mrs Porter but after she disappeared he was kept on to look after Mr Marks. The Doctor tries some more questions: why the church was never rebuilt after it burnt down; why the villagers are leaving; why Old john stays to work for a man he doesn’t like; why the old man has a leather bracelet with tassels hidden under his sleeve. The old man leaves without response but the Doctor calls after him that he is on his side. Finding Marks in the garden, the Doctor has barely settled down when the invalid says that ‘they’ killed everyone, burned everything in Little Cadthorpe. The Doctor promptly returns to the house, zaps the telephone with his screwdriver and dials Rory’s mobile to tell him to look for anything in the library about Little Cadthorpe.
The school library seems to double as the village library. Rory finds it empty and picks up a big book of newspapers. When he is surprised by the arrival of the librarian he spins round and accidentally knocks her mug out of her hand, spilling her drink. She seems rather taken aback at being suddenly damp but soon bounces back to welcome him. She seems to assume he is with the dig. She tells him that if he wants to know about the Porters then she is better than a newspaper because she was at school with Mrs Porter (the real one). While she is off making some fresh tea, Rory looks up Little Cadthorpe in his tome of newspapers. He finds that The whole village was burnt down eight years earlier and all the villagers died. He wonders why Oliver Marks, the one survivor, is not mentioned. He sets off to talk to the librarian, Mrs Thirman. He looks in her office but only finds a large woolen hammock. It starts to move and briefly takes on the shape of the librarian.
The Doctor question Oliver about the fire. Before he can learn anything a woman appears in the garden beside them. Oliver goes silent. The Doctor notices Rory running up the driveway. When he looks back, the woman has vanished. He follows her into the Manse where he assumes she has gone. Rory greets Oliver who tells him that he knows ‘they’ are coming for him because the woman was his dead fiancée.
The Doctor wanders the corridors in vain. He is suddenly surprised by the arrival of Nathaniel Porter who denies that any such woman could be in his house. The Doctor tells him that something odd is happening in the village and Porter must either be unaware of it or At The heart of it. Porter laughs, saying he chooses to be amused rather than insulted and then wonders aloud where Amy has got to. The Doctor returns to the garden to find that Rory and Oliver have vanished.
As they walk across the countryside Amy learns little from Tom other than that he is mysteriously wary of water. They enter some woods where a curious clump of trees stands. The trees seem to have grown sideways and are knitted out of green and yellow wool. Tom reaches out to them and seems to melt into the branches, becoming one with them. He grabs Amy’s arm and she passes out.
Oliver has led Rory out of sight of the house. The Doctor finds them as Rory is wondering if Oliver is afraid of wool monsters. Oliver says that They are not the enemy. He can smell the real enemy everywhere. Rory shows a lot of concern for Oliver and wants to nurse him through his trauma. The Doctor warns him that There won’t be much psychological support for Oliver after Rory has left, such things not being common in 1936.
The mention of wool reminds the Doctor about The Weave. He says they are a fantastic race but prone to be afraid of water which makes them soggy. They have numbers instead of names and each person is part of a greater whole. He remembers taking one Of them, a little girl, for a ride in the TARDIS. He adds that They can take on the form of other people but need to keep a copy of the original. Oliver says that The enemy he saw wore red and breathed gas or petrol. The Doctor says that They sound like the Weave’s enemy: the Tahnn. He wonders why they would have been in Little Cadthorpe in 1928. He assumes that They were after the Weave ship but couldn’t find it. Somehow they have been using Oliver as a beacon to detect it. The only solution is to enter the dig and find the Weave ship themselves.
Enola Porter is in front of a marquee in the school playground. She is giving tea and cakes to her fellow archeologists. As the Doctor and Rory approach they comment on her somewhat masculine appearance. In passing the Doctor talks about the rumours concerning Lady Gaga’s gender and hints that she is, in fact, an alien. Enola greets Oliver with a kiss and shakes hands with the other two. She introduces them to her team: most seem to be locals but some are academics. There is Christopher Maginn, a geologist and Hamish Ridley, with an interest in dinosaurs. Walpole Spune is an expert in stone circles and Marten is an artist whose drawings are better representations of their findings than photographs.
Leaving Oliver in the capable hands of Nancy Thirman, they follow Enola down to the huge tented area. Inside, a huge hole in the ground takes them beneath the playing field. They find a mound has been buried beneath the field. As an almost casual aside, the Doctor tells Enola that Rory is from 2010 when infrared scanners would be a useful tool. He adds that he is an extra-terrestrial himself. Enola takes all this in her stride and says that They found the burial site with Walpole Spune’s divining rod. The German artist, Marten Heinke, has been party to much of this conversation but disappears abruptly, leaving a sketch behind. It shows Enola, the Doctor and Rory but the two men have balls of wool instead of faces. In addition, Rory is wearing his nurse’s uniform in the picture and the Doctor is depicted in a brown suit (presumably from the 10th Doctor days).
Enola suddenly seems to tune into their being from the future and asks if she is famous in the 21st century. The Doctor agrees that she is well known by then before leading Rory away. Rory asks why he has never heard of Enola Porter and the Doctor admits he hasn’t either. Amy suddenly appears behind them saying that she heard that Enola Porter discovered alien artifacts in a Roman or Iron Age burial mound. The Doctor merely nods and produces Enola’s diaries, which he has borrowed without asking. He says he has some reading to catch up on.
The real Amy wakes up in a dark place. There is a greeny-yellow glow and a ball of wool floating towards her. It wool shapes itself into a woman and introduces herself as 128, Commander of the Exalted. She says they crashed centuries ago and have been underground while they try to survive. She thinks Amy is alien, too, because 456195 (Tom Benson) saw her and the others arrive in a capsule. Amy explains that she is from the future and that The Doctor brought them in his time machine because he is from Mars where such technology exists. 128 adds that Their ship has been there for six thousand years but the crew only awoke fifteen years earlier when the ship’s systems detected the Tahnn. The ship’s counselor, 6011, appears and morphs into Amy’s shape. They put Amy to sleep while 6011 sets out to impersonate Amy to the Doctor.
In the kitchen of the Manse the Doctor tries to find out from the staff some information about the first Mrs Porter. Old John curtly nods that he and Rory should go with him and takes them down a dark corridor. The Doctor wonders where Amy might be and then silently counts to five at which point she greets them from the other end. The Doctor leads her away and engages her in some light-hearted chat during which she mentions that The Doctor ought to take her back to his home planet, Mars.
The Tahnn ship is in orbit around Jupiter. Since their troop planted a beacon, and then vapourised themselves, several years earlier, they have been waiting for the discovery of the Weave ship and its cargo. They know that if they are too violent in their approach they will bring down the wrath of the Shadow Proclamation (who once wiped out a third of a galaxy due to one planet’s transgressions – or so one story has it). The plan is to find the Weave, take their treasure and wipe out the enemy and then get out quickly. The problem is that an alien with two hearts is in the locale: identified as the Doctor. The ship moves out of orbit as the Tahnn Primary decides that The Doctor must die, too.
The Doctor has read through Enola’s diaries to find out about her interest in archeology, her marriage and the discovery of the mound. He also learns how her team came together and her fascination with what she might discover that very day. Among the diaries is another of Marten’s drawings showing the Porter’s marriage but with all the guests depicted with woolen heads apart from Enola, Maginn, Ridley and Nathaniel Porter. Porter has three heads in the picture: human, woolen and Tahnn. He shows the picture to Amy and Rory out in the garden. Oliver, apparently dozing nearby, says that Enola saw Porter with the three heads some weeks earlier and is afraid that he will kill her. The Doctor then reveals that he knows Amy is a copy (the Mars thing was the clincher). She snaps back that he abandoned her six thousand years ago. He realises that she is the little girl he gave the homing beacon to. He tells her that The TARDIS received the message but led them to 1936 because another nearby signal was interfering. She tells him that The Tahnn are close so the Weave are hiding out, posing as villagers while Marten tries to warn people away. She says that Oliver is the Tahnn beacon and that The Tahnn want the Glamour. As soon as Enola breaks the wall of the ship the Glamour will escape.
Suddenly, the whole situation falls into place for the Doctor. The Weave can’t escape without a full complement of twenty five crew members. 6011/Amy agrees that two of the crew are dead and two others are missing. The missing pair are the Executive Officer 3 and the Tactical Officer. The Doctor surmises that one of these is working for the Tahnn to get them the Glamour. Rory points out that The reason why Oliver thinks that The Tahnn are coming is because he can smell them and the reason why he can smell them is that They are already there. porter must be a Tahnn-Weave hybrid. 6011/Amy sets off to tell her commander this news.
In the chamber beneath the school field, Marten asks Enola not to break through the mound. He tells her he is under cover. Enola says that she has heard from the Doctor that a spaceship is on the other side of the mud. She asks Marten if he is human. Marten tells her that if she carries on as she intends the Tahnn will come and kill them all. Then he tells her that The Glamour is an energy field that can change reality and the Tahnn want it as a weapon. At this point two other archeologists, Spune and Ridley, begin to fight. Their conflict is based on their own professional jealousies but leads them to crash into the mud wall and reveal a lump of green wool – the spaceship. Ridley tumbles on and rips the side of the ship. A roaring sound comes from the ship and a burst of yellow-green energy floods the chamber. Enola blacks out.
6011/Amy gasps in pain as she heads down the road to the school. She realises it is too late and says so. Porter, behind her, agrees and transforms into his Weave shape. His body flows into hers and tears her apart. Her last memory is of being happy aboard the TARDIS. The Weave traitor turns into a Tahnn warrior and then back into Nathaniel Porter.
In the Manse, the limping Old John realises that The Weave ship has been ruptured. He knows this because when he was 14 he sneaked out in the night to the Sky God’s gift. He had pushed against it with his foot until part of it gave way. He was bathed in green light and his leg, ankle, foot and toes were shattered. The villagers found him and were afraid that The Gods would be angry. In fact, life carried on as normal for everyone apart from Owain. His leg didn’t heal until he was 65 by which time his children had died after a good life. At 300 he felt cursed. His name changed – Owen, Ian, Iain, Ewan and John. He would leave the village for years and return when nobody was alive to remember him. He always came back to ensure that nobody else would disturb the gift of the gods.
Twelve years ago he had seen Nathaniel Porter go to the school and then watched as large woolen toys emerged from the ground. One Of them, alone, had devoured Porter and become him. Mrs Porter disappeared the same day. When Oliver Marks arrived, Old John had cared for him. Now both Old John and Oliver Marks are crying out. The Doctor, Rory and Amy burst in on them. Oliver tells them that ‘they’ are here. The Doctor realises that ‘Amy’ is no longer 6011. She shimmers and becomes Porter and then Tahnn. The warrior tells them he was a guinea pig, his genetic code altered to become like the Weave. The Doctor asks him how he will operate the Glamour but the Tahnn laughs: the Glamour is not a device; it is a reimagining of life. The corridor glows green and the air shimmers. The Doctor throws Rory and Old John to the floor as the Tahnn warrior dissipates out of existence.
The Tahnn ship approaching Earth records a massive energy surge on the planet even as it loses contact with its agent. Then a voice speaks to them, a human, who says that he no longer wants to sense or smell the Tahnn anymore so he won’t. The Tahnn ship and its crew dissolve into molecules.
Rory and the Doctor wake up in a beautiful room containing a piano and many beautiful pictures. Oliver’s rooms have transformed as have the gardens outside. A woman in a red dress that is practically falling off enters the room. The Doctor addresses her as Mrs Porter and she eases him to the door. Rory looks at a painting above the fireplace that shows the same woman. When he looks back the other two have gone. On another wall are three portraits of Amy: as she was that morning; as an eight year old; in her wedding dress. Outside in the garden all that remains of what was there five minutes earlier is the big willow tree. He knows this must be significant. Then he sees that The door out of the room has gone but a painting of a green and yellow tree has appeared.
The Doctor asks the woman whether they are in a parallel world or if this is all an illusion. The corridor they are in is disappearing behind them and the woman’s dress changes to white and then a black maid’s outfit. He realises that whoever is using the Glamour hasn’t mastered it yet. They enter a ballroom full of people. If he tries, he can visualize it as it really is: the people are crammed together and some Of them are actually merged with the furniture. If he relaxes his thoughts it becomes more spacious and elegant as it wants to be seen. Oliver Marks is playing the piano. He introduces the Doctor to his pretty wife, Daisy, and his two children. Amy approaches, though she isn’t sure of her name and asks if the Doctor is the love of her life. He tells her that would be Rory.
Oliver asks the Doctor if he likes his world. He tells the Doctor that he sent the Tahnn away. The Doctor points out that The problem with the Glamour is that it is fake and when it fades the comedown is terrible. Chivers tells him it doesn’t work that way. He introduces himself as the Executive Officer, 3. He has been kept in thrall by the traitor posing as Porter for years and trapped in the house by the use of psychic powers. 25463, the traitorous tactical officer, had placed a shield around the village that prevented the Weave entering or leaving. He adds that he has no idea when the Glamour will wear off. A 14 year old boy in animal skins tells them that it never does. He says that a hundred lives before he was Owain and he has lived for six thousand years.
Amy wakes in the dark. A handful of others are lying in the ground with her. Some, she guesses, are villagers but one is separate and in a cocoon. This last is Mrs Porter. All of the others are asleep. The walls unravel and Amy realises that she is aboard the Weave ship. She enters a larger area where the Weave crew are knitting themselves into the wall and back again. She can see from their indistinct faces that this behaviour is not enjoyable. 128, now part of the floor, tells Amy that The Glamour leaking out and being misused means that The ship is absorbing the crew to keep alive. Amy walks on, intent on finding the village and something called the Glamour.
Rory speaks to the picture on the wall, asking to see the door. It changes into a picture of the room but with a door in the wall. Rory walks to the part of the wall where the door was shown to be and finds himself in the party hosted by Oliver. The Doctor grabs him and asks how they get out of the room Rory tells him how he got in so the Doctor visualizes where he entered the room and leads Rory, 3 and Owain out via a wall. They run to the school and then to the torn side of the Exalted. Enola Porter and her team are frozen to the spot. Marten Heinke is moving but says he is keeping his human shape so that The ship doesn’t absorb him.
3 tells them that none of the Weave can attract the Glamour back because they are all injured and the danger of it entering a diseased or injured crewman would be incalculable. The humans there are all too self aware to attract it, too. The only solution is Mrs Porter. Her injured body was found after 25463 tried to kill her and hooked up to the ship to save her life. The Doctor guesses that if they wake her up and show her an alien her confusion will draw the Glamour from Oliver and back to the ship.
3 wakes the sleeping humans Rory and Amy lead them away. Unfortunately, when Mrs Porter is woken up she is neither shocked to see 3 being sucked back into his ship, nor terrified, but rather indignant. As the Doctor bemoans 3’s useless sacrifice, Amy and Rory are At The entrance to the ship. The real Martin Heinke sees his fake and punches him. This wakes Walpole Spune who screams in fear. The Glamour leaves the Manse.
It spreads through the ship and the crew members emerge. Enola Porter, her team, Nancy Thirman, Chivers and Tom Benson stare in amazement. 128 tells the Doctor that The ship is still too damaged to leave and without a full complement of crew it never will. Enola Porter tells the Doctor that she knows that, despite discovering an alien spaceship, she will never be famous. He agrees. She says that this means she either dies or something drastic must happen to her and as such offers herself as a replacement crew member. Hamish Ridley volunteers to go with her as does Oliver Marks.
The Doctor leads the other humans to the Manse. The school vanishes with a bang, as do the grounds. The Weave ship roars away from Earth. As it goes, the Weave thank Old John for looking after them for six thousand years. He dies with a smile on his lips.
At the door of the TARDIS, Rory asks if this is how it always is; the Doctor arrives, something massive happens, people die or lose everything they believed in and the Doctor walks away. The Doctor tells him that They have done all that They can and must move on again. He promptly falls down the hill again and lands in the sheep dip. Stomping back into the TARDIS he prepares to take them somewhere else entirely.
- The Glamour Chase was the sixth Eleventh Doctor novel released. It saw the second appearance of the Glamour after Ghosts of India.
- Rory and Oliver Marks play Chess in the Manse garden.
- Amy refers to “universal criminals”, “alien vampires” and “strange nightmares” (The Eleventh Hour, The Vampires of Venice, Amy’s Choice)
- The Doctor once saved the Weave.
- The Shadow Proclamation, Shadow Architect and Daleks are referred to.