The Story of Martha
For a year, while The Master ruled over Earth, Martha Jones travelled the world telling people stories about The Doctor. She told people of how The Doctor has saved them before, and how he will save them again.
This is that story. It tells of Martha’s travels from her arrival on Earth as the Toclafane attacked and decimated the population through to her return to Britain to face The Master. It tells how she spread the word and told people about The Doctor. The story of how she survived that terrible year.
But it’s more than that. This is also a collection of the stories she tells – the stories of adventures she had with The Doctor that we haven’t heard about before. The stories that inspired and saved the world..
Martha rides as a passenger in a small boat from Dunkirk to the English coastline. Her journey is made in secret and she arrives on the English shore to be met by Tom Milligan. It is 365 days since her journey began.
One year earlier..
Martha lands hard on the ground after her trip by vortex manipulator from HMS Valiant, the Master’s command ship. Above her the Toclafane are flying, destroying London in the Master’s call for decimation of the human population. In minutes the human race has been enslaved.
With the aid of a perception filter fashioned from a TARDIS key, Martha makes slow progress through the suburbs of London. She tries to stay clear of the Unified Containment Force (UCF) that operates under The Master’s control. Unbeknown to her, one party of UFC men (under the leadership of Griffin) is being deployed to track her down. They have her photograph and know about her perception filter. They also have a hot line to a senior officer in The Master’s ranks who has been charged with the responsibility of bringing Martha in: they know that they will have all the clearance and support on offer in their quest.
Martha’s journey through London has been slow going for several days but so far she has avoided being seen. Then she is spotted by a nine year old girl, Aleesha, who can see her earrings. This alerts Martha to be more careful, her perception filter does not make her invisible. She takes the young girl with her – Aleesha is living wild since her mother disappeared in the Toclafane attack – and they narrowly avoid a UCF patrol. The UCF men pursue them into a block of flats where Martha’s perfume almost gives her away. However, they avoid detection when Griffin and his men are led astray when a trapped dog breaks a window in a nearby flat.
Martha and Aleesha make it to the safety of a basement flat where Martha tries to cheer up the frightened girl by telling her a story.
The Doctor and Martha arrive on a planet called Agelaos in response to a warning signal. The human colony was established here because of the proximity of a wormhole which endowed them with psychic powers. The Doctor and Martha cross an icy landscape and arrive in the settlement. However, they are pursued by a variety of monstrous creatures and seem to be trapped in a dead end. An old man, Waechter saves them and takes them to a tower in the middle of the town. Waechter explains that he is the last survivor of the colonists and, as such, is the guardian of the Beacon on the planet. It is this beacon that warned The Doctor, and all other travellers, to stay away from this exceedingly dangerous place. Waechter is doomed to live on eternally thanks to a circuit wired into his neck. All that he wants to do is to return to his home where he can die in peace. The Doctor agrees and sets out to distract the beasts while Martha leads the old man back to the TARDIS. The freezing conditions prove too much for Waechter and he collapses in the snow but The Doctor is on hand to get him into the safety of the time machine. The Doctor tries to disable the chip in the old man’s neck but this causes severe problems: it is soon apparent that he will die if the procedure continues.
After further analysis, The Doctor concludes that the population of Agelaos hasn’t disappeared at all. They have mutated into the beasts that were chasing him earlier. The reason that the wormhole has not caused the old man to change is that the link in his neck to the warning beacon was also maintaining his human form. The Doctor gives Waechter a choice: mutate into a creature like the others or keep the chip and live on alone on Agelaos as a human. Waechter uses the psychic paper to see his own future and decides to mutate – at least this way he will not be alone.
Martha takes a cold shower to wash off her perfume and then leads Aleesha to a survivor collective in Battersea. She stays a few hours and tells the people a few stories about The Doctor (Aleesha also tells The Weeping to a group of children) before beginning her journey again. After leaving her earrings with the little girl and promising to return one day, Martha sets off on her epic quest. She tells Aleesha that her plan is to visit ‘everywhere’.
One night in Lille a flash market set up by the resistance is distributing stolen goods. As usual they are wary of the UCF. However, despite their caution, Griffin has infiltrated the market, certain that Martha is close at hand. He has used his special authority to keep the main UCF force in the region at bay while he searches for her. Griffin speaks to the market organiser, Mathieu, asking if he has seen Martha. The answer is ‘no’ and Griffin moves on through the market. Immediately, Martha makes herself known to Mathieu and warns him that the UCF are outside. Griffin turns and realises that Mathieu is talking to a woman who is unusually shadowy. He pulls a gun but at the same moment Mathieu sounds an air horn and pandemonium ensues.
People scatter in all directions. There is gunfire, explosions and chaos. Dozens are killed, more are captured, but somehow Mathieu and Martha escape in a Citroen van. Despite their windscreen being shot out, Mathieu manages to make it to a survivor camp. He is injured and Martha tends to his wounds. As she does so she tells another story to the people gathered around her.
The Doctor and Martha arrive on a space station in 2088, orbiting the Earth. They meet Professor Conrad Morris in a large control room. Introducing themselves as John Smith and Dr Martha Jones they learn that a race called the Benefactors have arrived above Earth offering salvation the effects of global warming and atmospheric pollution. The Doctor recognizes the Benefactors as the Cineraria, a race who takes over planets and eradicates all life before exploiting the resources. However, Morris and the Head of Security, Daniel Grant, refuse to believe The Doctor. The Doctor sends Martha to run through the corridors in order to lead the security team away from the TARDIS so that he can buy some time to counter the Cineraria.
Grant catches Martha and leads her back into the control room. The Doctor’s image appears on the monitors. He reveals that the ‘whale song’ that is being received on the space station is a series of signals that are being transmitted to giant life forms (a kind of space whale) that are swallowing the pollution from the Earth’s atmosphere. The Doctor says that the signals are telling these ‘whales’ to drop onto heavily populated areas with catastrophic results. The solution, The Doctor suggests, is simple: if Professor Morris revealed to the Cineraria that their plot had been discovered they would withdraw – stealth being key to their methodology.
Realising that they have been discovered, the Cineraria depart. The Doctor tells Professor Morris that the human race can fix their own problems without the help of alien intervention. In the TARDIS The Doctor reassures her that everything will be solved eventually.
After telling her story Martha asks the Sucourt group to carry on her work in France while she travels further afield. If they spread her stories, even claim to be Martha Jones, it will spread the message more quickly and even confound her pursuers. Their only worry is that The Doctor may already be dead but Martha insists that she would know if he was. Mathieu tells her that there are many underground groups across Europe but they are not unified. He says he will go with her on the next leg of the journey. While she spreads her stories he will try to find the Underground and try to link the various survivor groups.
Sometime later, the UCF under Griffin’s command receive a message on the Over Watch that says Martha has been spotted in a refugee camp at Tournai. They order that the camp be made secure and set off at once. What they don’t know is that the message is a decoy, sent by Mathieu from a captured UCF vehicle. Even as the UCF men are driving to Belgium, Martha and Mathieu are heading in the opposite direction. After two days of driving they dump the UCF vehicle in a river (their ruse has been detected) and link up with another group. This all seems to have gone wrong when they are surrounded by armed men in a forest at night but fortunately this is their first contact with the Underground.
Four months after her journey began, Martha is touching down in Turkey on the shore of the Aegean. Her flight by Chinook helicopter is the fastest she has travelled. Her travels since meeting the Underground have taken her through Munich, Ljubljana and Belgrade – always heading for a rendezvous with The Brigadier at Cursus Hill. She is deposited on the ground at her allotted meeting place and told that the code word is ‘Benton’ by the pilot before he takes to the air again. Further down the coast Griffin and his men are watching for the helicopter. They are closing in on Martha.
However, the Underground are ahead of the game. Cursus Hill is not a geographical location, just a code name for the Underground’s rendezvous points. Martha safely meets up with the Brigadier while Griffin’s men are left floundering in the hills. Martha is taken to the Underground’s cave system. The Brigadier turns out to be Erik Calvin, ex-UNIT. He asks Martha if she has a weapon to kill The Master as he has heard. She says she hasn’t, and that is not The Doctor’s way, but it wouldn’t hurt to let the rumour persist that such a weapon exists. They decide to continue with The Doctor’s plan, spreading stories about The Doctor so that one day he can use The Master’s Archangel communication system against him.
Sometime later Martha arrives in Yokohama aboard the Xin Excel container ship. Martha has been given a contact at a café: a man named Sugu who will get her into the labour camps. These provide the workers for the higher technology of the Master’s operation. However, Sugu does not show and Martha is still wondering what to do when she is arrested by a UCF patrol. With horror, Martha realises that her perception filter has stopped working. She is taken to the Aka Labour Camp and put to work on a production line soldering chips onto circuit boards. The work is repetitive and wearying. Any thoughts of sabotaging the operation are put out of her mind when she sees a man who makes errors (possibly deliberately) summarily executed. After a week of hard labour Martha realises she will never escape and calls a meeting of some of the other inmates of her dormitory. She tells them a story.
The Frozen Wastes
Martha always wanted to be a doctor, ever since she was a child, after breaking her arm and seeing how it was mended. She eschewed the usual teenage posters of pop singers and instead covered her walls with pictures of the internal workings of the body.
Later, she finds herself with The Doctor as they join a French Arctic Explorer, Pierre Bruyere in July 1890, on his voyage by hot air balloon to the North Pole, intending to be the first to arrive there. Ever since he was a child Pierre has been haunted by dreams of the frozen Arctic wastes. The whole expedition is a puzzle to The Doctor, as he tells Martha at Pierre’s presentation to the London Geographical Congress, not least because Pierre and his companions vanished without trace in April, three months earlier.
The Doctor, Martha and Pierre launch the balloon with The Doctor frequently commenting happily on Pierre’s inventiveness. The early days are the happiest, when the trio would join together and sing songs. Martha dreams of becoming a Doctor again, but hears a voice intruding into her dreams. She wakes to find that the balloon is losing height rapidly. The trio throws their stores and equipment out in order to lighten the load but this only succeeds when they jettison their food. The Doctor comments that some mysterious force is trying to put them at its mercy. Later, the three share their dreams. The Doctor is particularly interested when Pierre mentions he dreams of nothing but expanses of white. The Doctor himself says that he never dreams. Privately he confides to Martha that, in fact, he dreams about the unknown and the dangers of it.
Pierre begins to claim that they have reached the North Pole as they have been flying at a constant speed for about four or five months. Martha is amazed because she thinks it is only a fortnight. The Doctor reveals that they have been travelling for years, but they are frozen in time, endlessly repeating the same few moments. The Doctor produces his sonic screwdriver and uses it to burst the balloon. Martha and Pierre see that they are suspended in mid air. The Doctor shows Pierre that the journal of his expedition has been overwritten many times. The mysterious entity that has him trapped now has been sending him back to relaunch the expedition again and again.
Above them, suspended in the sky, are dozens of identical balloons containing other Pierres and his many companions. One of these Pierres drops to the basket containing the latest incarnation and the Doctor. The newcomer takes Pierre’s face in his hands and drains the life from him. The Doctor realises that the entity is feeding off the experiences and dreams of its victims. He encourages it to feed from him, thinking that his store of memories will be too much for it. The Doctor soon realises his mistake; the hunger is too great. He calls out to Martha. She holds The Doctor’s freezing face to warm him and tells the creature to feed from her, too. This overloads it and the two find themselves alone.
Afterwards, The Doctor takes Martha in the TARDIS to be the first person at the North Pole. Then, hopping forward two hundred years they find themselves in an interactive museum of Polar exploration. In the café he tells her about his boyhood dreams of exploration. His people told him there was no point since they had already discovered everything in the universe, so why should he leave Gallifrey. Then he found a reason to leave.
Meanwhile, Pierre never became an explorer. Instead he made a life as a baker, following his parents’ footsteps; endlessly making cakes and pastries covered in cream and sugar that remind him of endless wastes of snow.
The story proves so popular that Martha finds she has a new audience every night: the workers meet on a rotation system to listen to her and then spread the stories they hear. Then, one night, she is horrified to see a new face in her dormitory. It is Griffin. Instead of arresting her it turns out that Griffin is a prisoner too. Just as her perception filter failed, so did his UCF credentials. He tells her that he suspects the UCF, and the Master, are no longer in charge in Japan. He tells her, several days later, that he followed her to Japan where his direct phone link to UCF failed and his colleague, Rafferty, was killed by a patrol. They continue to work on the production line but slowly Griffin begins to hear her stories, even though Martha refuses to let him join the audience. Gradually they realise that they will have to work together if they are going to escape.
Several more days pass. Martha’s friend Hito tells her about a third manufacturing plant as well as the Kuro and Shiro plants she has heard of. This is Koban and it may offer a way out. Martha reports what she has heard to Griffin – that none of the workers who go to Koban ever come back. The rumour is that workers there earn the right to be returned to society. Martha agrees with Griffin that they probably die there but insists the only way to find out is to volunteer to work there. To her despair, when Martha volunteers for Koban so do many of her friends. Griffin comes along, too.
They are transported to Koban. Martha is slightly embarrassed when she has to strip naked along with the men for a very public shower. Worse is to come when, after donning overalls and entering the plant, Martha is singled out and named by a disembodied voice.
The plant is being run by a group of aliens called The Drast and they are very interested in The Doctor and the Master. The Drast are tall, slender, humanoids in metallic suits. They came to Earth ten years earlier to initiate an economic takeover that could have taken decades to complete. Their plans have been disrupted by The Master and so they have made a clandestine attempt to subvert his power in Japan while they usurp his technology for their own good. Knowing that their ship would be destroyed as it left Earth’s atmosphere they have decided to build a Relativistic Segue. This device tears a hole in space time and might allow them a way off the planet. Unfortunately, the holes it creates could lead anywhere. Therefore they have to use test subjects who step through the rip in time and space attached to a long rope. If any survive the Drast will be able to step through themselves and see where they are. Martha witnesses the 99th such test. The ‘volunteer’ steps into the void but when the rope is pulled back it is smoldering and there is no one attached to it.
When Martha rejoins Griffin and the others she tells them about the Drast. Griffin wants to rush the aliens and try to beat them by force. Martha has other ideas and decides to tell the aliens a story about The Doctor.
Martha is being held by a man behind her and the Doctor is picking himself up from the floor. Martha’s assailant has just punched tThe Doctor to the floor. Facing them are a group of men armed with knives and metal bars. The Doctor tries to placate these men but Breed, the man holding Martha, chokes her. she is dragged away as The Doctor stumbles about in front of the other men in order to prevent them giving chase.
Martha regains consciousness with a memory of being with The Doctor in a room full of empty cryogenic units. The Doctor concludes that they are on a generation ship that set off from Earth full of frozen colonists. They should have been revived when they reached the target planet and, as such, they should still be dormant. She wakes up looking into the face of a young woman and Breed. To her horror the room is full of other men, all with Breed’s face.
The Doctor is taken to meet the Head of the Steering Council, Treve. Treve and his companions had been frozen but were awakened two years earlier, only to find that the ship was still deep in space. Breed is a generic name for the Artificials (clones created to maintain the ship and to respond to emergencies.) Treve tells The Doctor that the Breeds have changed their designated identities and given themselves human names. The Breed that captured Martha now calls himself Edison. The Breeds have begun to consider themselves individuals and have transcended their original programming.
Martha finds out that the colonists want Edison dead because he has fallen in love with the young woman, Romea. Edison and Romea have broken the rule forbidding fraternization and are on the run. The Colonists want to restart the Fabricator, a machine which was made to provide the equipment needed to colonise the target world. The Doctor warns them that there is not enough power in the batteries to make weapons in the Fabricator: using it will deprive them of oxygen and heat and lead to their early deaths. The Colonists are angry and embittered, not least that they are the survivors of a catastrophe that has taken their families, but also because the Breeds are physically stronger than them.
The Colonists head off to the Fabricator but The Doctor runs away from them down the maze of corridors on the ship. The Artificials are waiting for them, however, and a bloody fight ensues during which Martha is injured. Romea runs to help her but she is seized by a Colonist and another approaches Martha with a large spanner. An Artificial steps in to protect her. Martha shouts out for the fight to stop.
However, it is The Doctor’s voice booming out in the heads of the colonists and Artificials that stops the fighting. The Doctor reveals that on his way through the ship he saw the Pilot System and discovered that the Artificials were linked into the Pilot System by cybernetic grafts. The Doctor tells Martha, and the Colonists are realising this as he speaks, that all of the Colonists were killed when the cryogenics failed and the Artificials took a desperate measure to use the salvageable DNA from their corpses to recreate them as Artificials. A bemused group of Colonists numbly tries to reconcile themselves with the idea that they are not what they thought and that they owe their lives to Artificials they were prepared to kill moments earlier.
The Doctor makes some adjustments to provide the ship with more energy for their journey. He and Martha return to the TARDIS while he explains that he bemused the Colonists earlier with Amtorian jiu-jitsu.
Although not unsympathetic, the Drast are not convinced by Martha’s tale. They say that the human race will not have to suffer long under The Master anyway because once their Relativistic Segue opens fully the planet will be destroyed.
Griffin is the next ‘volunteer’ to test the machine. He takes the opportunity of being roped to the machine to snare a guard and relieve him of his gun. He kills the other guards and turns the weapon on the Segue. He says he will start shooting. Martha says she believes he will do it and tells the aliens to shut their machine down. Doing so will also mean powering their disguise fields, thus revealing themselves to The Master. They have no option. If Griffin shoots he may destroy all of Japan.
The Drast turn off the power. There is a blackout across the island. Martha frees her friends while guards open fire across the plant. Griffin finds a mobile phone and calls the UCF.
His call arrives at the Valiant just as the news of power failures and rioting on the streets of Japan are arriving. His contact, a pretty ADC is telling the Master the bad news and is unable to answer Griffin’s request for aid. The Master is furious that the Drast were on his planet and orders the burning of Japan. Martha is on a ship, the last to leave before the holocaust. She weeps as she watches Japan blaze. Meanwhile, unseen by anyone, Griffin has failed to get his credentials authorized by the ADC and is executed by giggling Toclafane.
Martha makes it back to England and her night-time meeting on the beach with Tom Milligan.
- The Story of Martha was the twenty-second Tenth Doctor novel released. It was the last to feature Martha Jones and was set during The Year That Never Was.
- The Master and the events of the Sound of Drums are mentioned.
- This novel also features another alien species called the Drast.
- This is also the first time the current BBC Books line has published a novel based upon a televised episode, although it is not a novelisation.
- The plant that the Drast have control of is called Koban. A koban is a Japanese police box.
- UNIT, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sergeant Benton are referenced.