Doctor Who Logo 'Short Trips':
'Helmstone'

(1 Part)

by Tony Jones
The Doctor

The TARDIS is drained of almost all its energy to when it encounters the power generator of an artificial world inside a hollowed-out asteroid, forcing the Doctor to make an emergency shut-down. Stranded while the ship restores itself - which could take months or even years - the Doctor and Steven befriend the inhabitants of the asteroid, ‘Nothome’; while the Doctor contents himself with painting the idyllic surroundings, Steve befriends a young woman, Cora, whose striking necklace is a black stone charm she calls the Helmstone. Ships from the mainland bring priests from the temple in the main city; they place Cora’s Helmstone in a circlet which they put on the girl’s head, showing that she has been chosen for the Ritual of Confirming. Steven and the Doctor accompany Cora aboard one of the ships, on the voyage to the main city; Steven is horrified to learn that the Helmstone is merging itself into Cora’s forehead. Arriving at the temple, the Doctor and Steven watch as Cora and eleven other acolytes take place in the ceremony; a device in the temple ceiling emits a bright light which strikes each of the acolytes, rejecting all but one of them: Cora, whose spirit has been chosen to join with that of ‘The Pilot’. Steven objects to Cora’s fate, but the Doctor instructs him to let events play out; Steven resolves to rescue Cora, and after finding her drugged unconscious in her chambers, he sneaks her to a nearby villa to hide. Unable to remove the circlet and Helmstone, and with Cora’ becoming weaker, Steven decides to ask the Doctor for aid; to his surprise the Doctor agrees to help, and explains how he has discovered that the ship’s encounter with the TARDIS has sent it off course: now Nothome’s systems have wrongly decided it has reached its destination, they are powering down – but with nowhere to disembark, the inhabitants of the asteroid will soon die. When Cora hears that as the Pilot she can correct Nothome’s course, she merges with the ship’s systems and sets it back onto its proper path; Cora also uses her new powers to restore the TARDIS to life. Steven is sad to leave Cora, but respects her decision to devote her life to save her people…

Stephen Critchlow (Narrator)

Notes:

*Featuring the First Doctor and Steven

*A Big Finish Audio Production