Balancing study with Brighthub is going remarkably well, although it seems that there is scope to increase my Brighthub output if certain situations change in the near future. We’ll have to see how this goes, of course…

In between having fantasies of reforming bands and entering competitions on Absolute, I’ve been expanding the contirbutor base on Kasterborous – this should give Brian and I all the time we need to complete the additional material and complete the K Book.

I’m also – slowly – looking for a suitable artist for the first part of the Valvestate series of comics. Not sure how this will pan out though at this stage.

Finally, as promised, is my entry for Big Finish’s recent comptition to find a new writer. The idea was to conceive and develop a script for the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa pairing (Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton). Big Finish revealed this week that the winner was someone else – so as a result, here’s the my entry, beginning with a three-step breakdown and ending with a short sample of the script….

Ghost Train

BEGINNING

The Doctor and Nyssa arrive outside a small village in the north of England in the mid 18th century. The Doctor has been looking for a clear spot on from which to view Halley’s Comet. Noticing a small cottage on the hill they venture up to see if they can view the event from there. Through a window Nyssa notices unusual machinery with what appears to be an ancient scepter mounted in it, but the man living there refuses to open the door, claiming he has the pox. They follow his suggestion and get a room at the local inn.

As they are making arrangements with the innkeeper, they hear of the death of a local man whose frantic wife is beside herself in the corner of the pub.

His body is at the back of the inn, laid out in his cart – investigating, the Doctor discovers a petrified expression etched into his face. The innkeeper, Hindmarsh, says that locals have been experiencing bizarre apparitions for weeks, beasts and dragons emerging from the ground.

 

MIDDLE

Keen to investigate, the Doctor and Nyssa look outside, but see nothing. Collecting some lamps from Hindmarsh they search for Thompson’s foot prints to get an idea of where he was when the incident occurred.

Confident that it was nothing more than an apparition caused by too much ale, the Doctor has a sudden change of heart when Nyssa’s use of the waveform scanner reveals a high level of silicon in the surrounding geology, coupled with a new, unusual reading. After Nyssa has uncovered the footsteps, they soon find some discarded fresh market goods, indicating the place where Thompson died – and are welded to the spot as out of the side of the valley, a deafening screeching, groaning sound approaches them at breakneck speed.

A train – 50 years too early!

 
END

Throwing themselves out of its way, the Doctor and Nyssa take cover beside some rocks.

Examining the side of the steep hill forming that part of the valley, the Doctor finds no tunnel and no tracks, although there is a faint whiff of soot which he attributes to the overall sensory illusion. He cites Stone Tape theory as the explanation.

The nearest place to find an answer turns out to be the cottage they encountered upon their arrival. Deciding to take advantage of the occupant’s apparent distraction with his machinery, the Doctor and Nyssa break in, but are soon overheard and discovered. Abner is an alchemist, and has devised and built a machine to harness energy from the comet to convert lumps of rock into gold.

Mixed with the high silicon content in the surrounding geology the Doctor and Nyssa agree that the Ghost trains are caused by Abner’s gold machine. Realising that the machine is leaking energy from the comet and causing a rare Stone Tape phenomenon, the Doctor and Nyssa defeat Abner by forcing the Stone Tape effect within the alchemist’s house – displaying visions of a seemingly horrific future.

GHOST TRAIN 
by Christian Cawley 
SCENE 5: INT VALLEY ARMS IN 
(FX: OCCASIONAL MURMURING, TANKARDS ON TABLE, YE OLDE PUB SOUNDS) 
LANDLORD:
So just one room for tonight is it? Anything to drink before you go up? 
DOCTOR:
I'll take a ginger ale please, and a small gin for my friend. 
LANDLORD:
Coming right up.  
NYSSA:
Gin? 
(FX: BOTTLE STOPS AND DRINKS POURING) 
DOCTOR:
It's something of an acquired taste but all the rage in London at the moment, I'm sure you'll appreciate it.  
(FX: DRINKS ON BAR) 
LANDLORD: 
There we go. Can I put you down for a pot of broth for supper, sir? 
DOCTOR: 
I think that would be fine, how long have we got until then? 
LANDLORD:
A couple of hours yet, my Maud's just putting the loaf in. 
(FX: WOMAN WAILING) 
LANDLORD:
You'll have to excuse us, sir, madam, the poor dear in the corner, well she's had a something of a shock today. 
NYSSA:
What sort of a shock? 
LANDLORD:
Well, it's her husband, he was found a couple of hours ago not far from here. Stone dead. 
NYSSA:
A couple of hours ago? Just this evening? 
LANDLORD:
That's right, madam. 
DOCTOR:
Oh dear. Perhaps we'll take these to our room and leave the poor lady to grieve in peace... 
NYSSA: 
Doctor, we've heard strange noises, encountered a cottage with an unusual mechanical device and now a man has been found dead... don't you think we should stay here and see if we can find out what's going on? 
LANDLORD:
You're a doctor, sir?  
DOCTOR:
Well, of sorts  
LANDLORD:
I knew you had the look of an educated man. 
(FX: BAR OPENING) 
LANDLORD:
We've got Mr Thompson's corpse out the back, waiting for the coroner to arrive. You wouldn't mind taking a look at him would you? 
NYSSA: 
You can hardly say no, Doctor. 
DOCTOR:
Well... as we're here, it shouldn't take long should it?