The Beginning

Audio | Written by Marc Platt, Directed by Lisa Bowerman, Produced by David Richardson | 2013

Content Warning/s

Attempted genocide of the human race.

First Thoughts

Produced during the 50th anniversary, this story provides us with little tidbits which left me hankering for more. Susan tells the story as it's happening, but with a historical lens as if she's recounting it. I like to think she's sharing her first big adventure with her Grandfather, with her children or grandchildren.


No explicit dates on Gallifrey.

Earth time: as the first life is forming on the earth's crust & then eons after, whilst the earth is still around, and the human race has set up a base (or a few) on the moon.


The Moon (mostly)

Some story also occurs in the TARDIS and on Gallifrey.

Notable Quotes

"Stolen?! Not stolen at all. Borrowed was a better description."

"For a dying ship, the TARDIS was very accomodating."

"It was like breathing soup" - Susan setting foot on the Archaeon's version of the Moon for the first time.

"human history was all inventions and wars"

"How does it feel, mmm? To be attacked by your own children?" - The Doctor - I noted this because it seemed like it this comment was a hint at what they had just been through on Gallifrey, or am I reading into it too much??

Gadgets & Habadashery

The Doctor put his Tunic over his pyjamas when they left the Lunar Rover.

The Doctor took the First Contact Induction Video from the Lunar Rover and then watched it again back in the TARDIS.

Otherwise, there's all the gadgets from Stoyn's toolbox:

  • Inspection Panoptic (a camera) - Susan briefly "borrows" from Stoyn and takes a picture of the Doctor with it
  • Sonic Screwdriver - not the Doctor's!!
  • Sonic Scanner
  • Time Vector Quantifier
  • Janny Wrench
  • Zeus Plug

Death Count

Four deaths mentioned - the crew of the Lunar Rover which 'rescued' Susan and the Doctor from the time stasis and monitered their bodies whilst they regained their health and wits.

Nurse Greta, Doctor of Archeology - Mcguire, and 2 unnamed drivers

Energy Alignment

Choatic and ready to push buttons.

The Doctor is "touchy on the subject of age", is described as in an "argumentative mood", has to be sedated due to his anger towards the crew of the rover, and described as a "crafty old shellsnacker". (must be a descriptor of older gallifreians)

Also worth mentioning that the Doctor is running away from Gallifrey in the course of this story for speaking up, so this energy is very fresh.

Adventuring Mentions

  • As the story is written during the 50th anniversary celebrations, there would be many easter eggs; I'll do my best.
  • "an old bronze trunk, that hovered behind us" - The Doctor's luggage - Hand of Omega story arc (surely)
  • The Doctor puts Susan in a TARDIS before having a conversation with someone and then pulling her out and pushing her into a new TARDIS. This would be a reference to Clara Oswald, stepping into the Doctor's timestream in The Name of the Doctor to make sure he picks the right TARDIS, his sexy
  • Surely Quadrigger Stoyn will be back - he got away at the end.
  • Their next landing: The sun was blue, the air like wine, and the TARDIS like a giant mushroom
  • Susan reflects on her schooling - she learnt that the Earth is the only planetary name with a the in front... (we will have to fact check this)
  • Susan doesn't seem to have been exposed to a TARDIS before - I wonder what this means for the average Gallifreian! Or the average Time Lord...
  • Stoyn mentions a few times, The Fetch Squad or The Fetchers
  • The TARDIS materialises as "a tall boulder"
  • Susan has a dream - she's playing with a young chair, and then "tall white figures with big heads and single unblinking eyes" came for her. I wonder if this is a memory or if a fear because perhaps her parents were taken!?
  • Stoyn mentions that "no one has Grandfathers anymore"


I counted 2 screams - the first by Stoyn when he makes it to the console room, the second Susan, when she discovers the dead Lunar Rover crew.

Litmus Tests

The Bechtel test is barely passed - Susan and Nurse Greta talk about her health for less than 30 seconds.

There is no mention of race and thus no way of determining whether it passed the Race Bechtel test.

Social Issue Focus

I don't feel that this story is commentary on anything happening in 2013 explicitly. This adventure is information in our databanks on the Doctor's journey and how they perceive the world.

And the moral of the story is...

...choas will prevail over order.

The Archaeons, the "aliens" of this story are the concept of order and structure. They are the perfect scientists. And whilst repeatability is important for successful experiements, I believe (and I think the Doctor believes too), that without room for mistake, the greatest strides in science would not have happened. And life, on this strange planet who's name has a the in front which orbits around the star Sol, evolved to be humanity because it was under uncontrolled circumstances. As the Doctor says, "life needs to unwind, find it's own way".

There is also to an underlying and ongoing theme of speaking up, calling out and calling in which is in it's infancy and worth noting here. (I say infancy, but truly, the Doctor would have been doing this for a while).

Thoughts & Collections

There's a little interview with the Producer, Director and Carole Ann Ford at the end of the audio book. They add a little context to when this is being written etc. But Carole still doesn't feel that she knows why the Doctor and her left Gallifrey!!

There's a food bar eaten by Susan in the story, where "one bite was like magenta fruit, the second has a light biscuit crunch". Sounds a bit like a cheesecake bar to me! I wonder what magenta fruit is. Without any further knowledge, I would say it's like dragonfruit.


Request: I would love to see the picture Susan took of the Doctor with the Panoptic.

We were standing on a matt of tiny plants and there were ferns like green fountains, high enough to blot out the steamy sky... I took the little inspection panoptic which I "borrowed" from Stoyn's workcase. So Grandfather posed, with his hands clasped in front of him while I took his portrait.

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