The Game
Serial 6C/G
The Game
Written by Darin Henry
Directed by Gary Russell
Sound Design and Post Production by Gareth Jenkins @ ERS
Music by Andy Hardwick @ ERS

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Ursula Burton (Ambassador Faye Davis), Robert Curbishley (Ockle Dirr), Gregory Donaldon (Coach Bela Destry), Christopher Ellison (Morian), Andrew Lothian (Hollis Az), Jonathan Pearce (Garny Diblick), William Russell (Lord Darzil Carlisle), Dickon Tolson (Coach Sharz Sevix).

On the planet Cray, it’s game time...

The Gora and the Lineen are set to face off in the grudge match to end all grudge matches. The players are limbering up, the commentators are preparing, the fans are daubing themselves in their team’s colours.

The arena is set, and the kick-off is approaching...

When the Doctor and Nyssa arrive, however, they find that Naxy is a sport that anyone can play... whether they want to or not. Cray’s entire future depends on the match’s outcome, but the time travellers soon realise that it is anything but just a game...

  • Released: February 2005
    ISBN: 1 844 35100 9
Part One
(drn: 18'37")

On the planet Cray, superstar naxy champion Hollis Az of the Lineen loses his chance to eliminate his bitter rival, Sharz Sevix of the Gora, when the match comes to an end before Hollis can strike. Frustrated, Hollis later asks his coach Bela Destry for permission to challenge Sharz to a one-on-one match; the Gora have lost six matches in a row, and one decisive move, such as eliminating their coach, could crush them for good. However, Destry has other concerns at the moment, as two visitors from Earth are about to arrive at the spaceport: Ambassador Faye Davis and Lord Darzil Carlisle, Earth’s Lord High Negotiator. Earth was recently “twinned” with Cray for publicity purposes, which means the devastating war being fought on Cray is now a source of embarrassment to Earth; thus, Carlisle is being sent in to sort it all out. But as Davis has learned over the course of the journey, Carlisle doesn’t live up to his reputation in person; he’s more interested in his dinner than in Davis’ attempts to brief him on the situation, and when he finally arrives on Cray and meets Destry and Hollis, he flatly announces that the world as they know it is about to end -- and asks when lunch will be served.

The Doctor is familiar with Carlisle’s reputation, and he’s planning to visit Cray to meet the eminent negotiator in person at last. He admits to Nyssa that, since he usually tends to get involved in local difficulties whenever he arrives somewhere, he’s put off meeting Carlisle until now; however, Cray is the planet where Carlisle negotiated his last peace settlement before retirement, so it should be safe for the Doctor just to sit back and watch the master at work. Nyssa reads between the lines and realises that the Doctor is taking her to a planet in the midst of a brutal war. However, when the TARDIS materialises in Cray’s capital city, there’s no sign at all that the planet has been fighting a devastating, centuries-long war that should have traumatised the entire population.

Puzzled, the Doctor and Nyssa follow the sound of chanting to a nearby sports pub, but when they enter, they find that they’re the only ones who have not painted their skin with the team colours. Sharz Sevix attacks the Doctor, accusing him of supporting the Lineen, but drops him in disgust when Nyssa explains that they’re off-worlders here to see Darzil Carlisle. The Doctor asks about the war, and is surprised when Sharz seems to have no idea what he’s talking about. When he asks about the sport Sharz and his fellow fans are celebrating, Sharz offers to let the Doctor join his team, the Gora, for a game. Nyssa is put off by Sharz’s sexist attitude, but the Doctor calms her down and points out that Sharz is the only one in the pub who recognised the name of Darzil Carlisle. The Doctor asks Nyssa to track down Carlisle while he plays a game of naxy with Sharz; if they bond over a match, perhaps Sharz will open up and tell the Doctor what’s going on. And one game is unlikely to kill him...

Carlisle settles in at his hotel suite and ignores Destry’s attempts to speak with him, accusing Destry of trying to bias him. Destry sends Hollis off to prepare for today’s match, and once alone, begs Carlisle to take this seriously. Not everyone on Cray agrees with Destry that the bloodshed must end; Sharz Sevix, the rival coach, didn’t even bother to show up at the spaceport to greet Carlisle on his arrival. Destry tries to prove his point by showing Carlisle the casualty reports, and is infuriated when Carlisle casually skims them and claims that he’s seen worse. Outside the hotel, Hollis bumps into Nyssa and makes a pass at her; however, when he realises that she genuinely doesn’t recognise him, he’s actually rather relieved, as he sometimes gets tired of having to keep up his public persona. Though he comes off as rough and aggressive at first, Nyssa finds him quite charming once he’s calmed down. She explains that she’s looking for Carlisle on behalf of her friend the Doctor, who is playing for the Gora in today’s naxy match. Hollis apologetically promises to eliminate the Doctor as painlessly as possible if they meet on the pitch, and sends the puzzled Nyssa to Carlisle’s suite, telling her to mention his name if anyone questions her.

Out on the Gora’s practice pitch, Sharz runs the Doctor through his paces, teaching him how to defend himself with his wand (a stick similar to the hockey sticks of Earth). The Doctor asks what Sharz knows about Carlisle, and why he is so hostile towards the Lineen if they’re just a rival team, but Sharz doesn’t answer his questions and strikes the Doctor with his wand when the Doctor’s guard is down. Game time arrives, and Sharz gives a pep talk to his team and sends them off to the pitch; today is his day off, so he won’t be joining them. As the Doctor prepares to join the rest of his team-mates, Sharz reminds him to open up his wand’s protective cover -- and the Doctor is horrified when Sharz removes the cover to reveal that the “wand” is in fact a razor-sharp blade...

Fed up with Carlisle’s lack of interest, Destry turns on the television, demanding that Carlisle see the carnage first-hand. Nyssa then enters the room, looking for Carlisle, and Destry calls in the guards and orders them to throw Nyssa in solitary for trespassing. However, when she explains that she’s here with a friend called the Doctor, Carlisle intervenes on her behalf. Although he claims never to have met the Doctor, he does ask Nyssa where her friend is -- and is horrified when she innocently explains that he’s playing in today’s match. Finally, Nyssa learns the truth: naxy is the “war” that Carlisle has come to Cray to stop, and the athletes, the Doctor included, are entering the arena to play to the death...

Part Two
(drn: 18'23")

Sharz joins commentator Garny Diblick in the broadcast booth to provide colour commentary for today’s match. Nyssa listens to the cheerful sports talk, unable to believe that naxy is as dangerous as the others claim it is; if so, then why would Sharz invite the Doctor to play? However, Destry insists that the fans and players simply don’t see the bloodshed of naxy for what it really is. The Gora have been going through a rough patch recently and need all the help they can get -- and there’s no rule preventing outsiders from playing, although most off-world visitors know better than to get involved.

The Gora are now out on the field, led by Ockle Dirr, who is acting as field skipper in Sharz’s absence. The Doctor has finally realised that naxy is nothing more than men slashing at each other with very sharp blades, but it’s too late for him to back out now. The whistle blows, marking the start of today’s play, and within seconds, a Gora striker is hacked to death before the Doctor’s eyes. Horrified, he tries to talk sense into the other players, but nobody listens and he is forced to defend himself from two Lineen strikers. Sharz and Garny note his excellent defensive wand work, and are impressed when the Doctor uses his wand to knock down both of his attackers; however, to their surprise and disappointment, he then rushes off rather than follow through with the kill. The two Lineen whom the Doctor left alive are eliminated by other Gora, and the furious Ockle orders the Doctor to pull himself together and start playing for the team; otherwise, Ockle will make sure that the Doctor is eliminated, and not necessarily by his opponents.

Nyssa is horrified as the extent of the carnage becomes clear. Destry doesn’t believe it likely that the Doctor will survive, as 50,000 players have died this season alone. The arena doors have been time-locked until the end of the match; the Doctor will be stuck out on the field for another 40 minutes, and if Destry intervenes on his behalf, it will be taken as a sign of weakness and the peace talks will be compromised. Nyssa insists upon going to the arena herself to help, but Carlisle insists that this is too dangerous and asks Davis to go in her place. Destry reluctantly agrees to accompany her, though convinced that this will be a waste of time. Nyssa thanks Carlisle for his intervention and asks him how naxy came to be what it is, and he explains that it used to be an innocent team sport until the fans started brawling outside the arenas; gradually, the brawls became more violent and the public became more interested in the brawls than in the game itself, until the two became one. Carlisle then asks Nyssa about her friend the Doctor, but when she innocently claims that the Doctor’s been looking forward to meeting his hero for some time, Carlisle goes pale and hurriedly excuses himself from the room.

The game enters a lull as the two sides regroup, and Garny takes the time to remind listeners that Hollis Az is only six eliminations away from scoring a full century for the seventh season in a row. The Lineen then regroup and swarm the Gora, and Ockle is eliminated as he shouts out instructions to his fellow players. However, the Doctor sees an opening on the Lineen’s left flank, and he urges the other Gora player to follow him out and around to safety. Sharz and Garny are disgusted by this sickening display of cowardice... until they realise that the Lineen have been caught completely off-guard by the unexpected manoeuvre and that other Gora strikers have taken advantage of their surprise to circle around behind them. Suddenly, the Gora are cutting their way through the Lineen’s ranks, and the tide of the match has turned.

Nyssa accidentally knocks over a pile of Carlisle’s private papers, and while putting them back in place, she finds a note arranging a rendezvous at Terrace Diva, Arena Bells, to discuss a covert attempt to extend hostilities. As Carlisle returns, Nyssa hurriedly replaces the papers and tells him what’s happened in the game. The Doctor appears to be shouting a war cry to his fellow Gora, but Nyssa realises that he’s actually screaming in rage, furious that Lineen are being killed because of him when he only meant to lead the Gora to safety. Meanwhile, Destry and Davis arrive at the arena only to see Lineen bodies scattered all over the pitch, and the horrified Destry abandons Davis and rushes towards the field, shouting out instructions to his players to try to recover from this fiasco.

When the buzzer finally sounds the end of the match, 163 Lineen have been retired in a single sweep, and the Doctor’s escape attempt is being hailed as a brilliant strategy. Sharz rushes down to the field to congratulate him, and the enraged Doctor lashes out at Sharz for tricking him into participating in this slaughter. When Garny arrives to interview the Doctor, Sharz places a hand over the Doctor’s mouth, muffling his protests, and assuring Garny that they’ve seen a great day’s sport. Garny cuts to an interview with Hollis, who has indeed scored the seventh century of his career only to see his team suffer a humiliating defeat in the same game. Garny then signs off and returns to the booth. The Doctor vows that this so-called game must end, and Sharz now admits that Lord Carlisle had come to Cray to put an end to naxy -- and that things had been going so badly for the Gora that Sharz had been seriously considering participating in the “peace talks.” But now the Doctor’s victory has galvanised him, and he vows not to give up the game until every last Lineen has been eliminated...

Part Three
(drn: 19'20")

Nyssa is surprised when Carlisle offers to accompany her to the arena, as it seems he’s forgotten that he’s supposed to be preparing for the peace talks. Disturbed, she begins to ask him about the note she found, but is interrupted when Faye bursts into the suite in tears, apparently suffering from a complete emotional breakdown after seeing the violence of naxy first-hand. While Carlisle tends to the sobbing Davis, Nyssa sets off for the arena, where she finds the Doctor angrily refusing to sign autographs for his fans. He’s delighted when she reveals that she met Lord Carlisle in person, and takes her back to the TARDIS to hear all about it after he’s washed off his face paint. He’s surprised when Nyssa asks him to just leave Cray behind, and when he protests that he wants to see Carlisle end the war, Nyssa shows him the note that implicates Carlisle in a plot to extend hostilities. The Doctor refuses to believe the legendary Carlisle could be involved in such a conspiracy, but when he scans the planet’s communications frequencies to ease her mind, he detects a shadow signal beneath the planet’s common-link media transmission. The shadow signal is bouncing back down to a location on Cray -- a place called Arena Bells. Disturbed, the Doctor agrees to investigate further. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Carlisle is placing an urgent private call...

Destry calls Hollis into his office to tear a strip off him for the fiasco out in the arena. They lost 400 of their best strikers, and if the Gora rally around the Doctor it could change the course of the game. Destry thus orders Hollis to use his one-on-one challenge against the Doctor. Hollis protests, as he’s been saving his challenge for Sharz, the man who eliminated both Hollis’ father and brother. However, Destry now tells him that Carlisle has come to Cray to negotiate an end to naxy. If the peace talks tomorrow go well and Sharz accepts their terms, then Hollis’ challenge to the Doctor can be dismissed. But if things go badly, then Destry insists that the Doctor must be eliminated for the good of the Lineen.

The next morning, the Doctor and Nyssa emerge from the TARDIS to find Faye looking for them; she claims that she was looking around the area where they first met Sharz, but the Doctor is nonetheless surprised that she managed to track them down. She tells the Doctor that Destry wishes to speak to him, and Nyssa advises him to attend the meeting. The Doctor reluctantly agrees to postpone his own meeting with Carlisle. On his way to the meeting, he questions Faye, who seems to know a great deal about Cray and naxy. She explains that Arena Bells is the term for the road that surrounds the naxy pitch -- but when he asks her about a place called Terrace Diva, she faints dead away. She soon recovers, claiming to have been suffering from a fever ever since she arrived, but the Doctor notes that her eyes are bloodshot. While helping her up, he notices a coin from the Bank of Galtry on the street, which is odd, as Galtry is on the other side of the galaxy. There are too many questions building up, and the Doctor is convinced that the key to answering them is finding out why Destry wants to end the game when he’s on the verge of winning.

Nyssa arrives at Carlisle’s hotel suite to find him listening to classical music rather than preparing for the peace talks. To her relief, he has no idea what she’s talking about when she asks about Terrace Diva, but when she asks him what drives him to work as a peace negotiator, he hems and haws for a moment, and then gives in and admits that he’s a complete fraud. The Doctor may have yet to meet Carlisle on his timeline, but from Carlisle’s perspective, he and the Doctor are old friends -- because the Doctor has negotiated peace on every occasion (except one) for which Carlisle has taken the credit. Carlisle has no idea how to run the negotiations without the Doctor’s help. Guards arrive to escort Carlisle to the conference hall, and before going, he begs Nyssa to ensure that the Doctor shows up. She promises to do so, but first decides to visit Arena Bells herself to investigate the mysterious message.

After attending an interview with Garny Diblick, Destry meets with the Doctor to discuss using his face on their merchandise. Each team handles the other’s merchandising and sales; thus, when one team is winning on the field, their rivals sell merchandise to the fans, plough the profits into better training and equipment, and improve their play until they’re back on top, at which point the cycle reverses. As the Gora have been doing so poorly on the field, their merchandise hasn’t been selling well, and Destry is thus desperate to exploit their new champion while he still lives. The Doctor refuses to let Destry use his image to promote death and slaughter, but learns that his agreement is only a formality; Destry will be doing so in any case. Irritated, the Doctor questions why Destry is so eager to end the game when his team is on the verge of winning, and Destry insists that he genuinely wishes to end the bloodshed but believes that he can only change the system from within.

Sharz then arrives to collect the Doctor for the peace talks; each coach is to attend with their star player, and Sharz wants the Doctor and Hollis to get worked up in preparation for their one-on-one. This is the first the Doctor’s heard of the challenge, and when he refuses to participate, Destry reveals that this refusal will mean his own execution and burial without honour and the elimination of 30 Gora strikers in his place. Also, if the Doctor accepts the challenge, it will replace today’s scheduled match, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of players. The Doctor reluctantly accepts, and Sharz suggests that he enlist Nyssa as a cheerleader. The Doctor responds that Nyssa is probably searching for a place called Terrace Diva right now -- and Destry, disturbed, reveals that there have been a number of unsolved, non-naxy-related murders in that area recently...

Even as he speaks, Nyssa has found her way to Arena Bells. As there isn’t currently a match on, the streets are deserted, and all Nyssa can see are miles of concrete walls. But as she explores, one of the walls opens up, and a snarling alien beast lunges out at her...

Part Four
(drn: 21'45")

Fortunately, the Lineen locker rooms are close by, and Hollis hears the commotion and arrives just in time to drive the creature off with his naxy blade. However, once he’s sure that Nyssa is safe, he must admit that he’s been forced to challenge the Doctor to a one-on-one match that won’t end until one of them is dead. Hollis wanted to save his challenge for Sharz, who eliminated both Hollis’ father and brother; Hollis’ father was one of the greatest players of all time until his blade attachment came loose during a one-on-one match with Sharz, and Hollis’ brother challenged Sharz to a match three cycles ago and lost. However, Destry ordered Hollis to use his challenge against the Doctor, and they’ll be forced to fight unless the peace talks go well. Nyssa becomes very worried when she realises that the Doctor’s life is now in Lord Carlisle’s hands...

According to Destry, people have been vanishing from the area around Arena Bells only to turn up days later, mauled almost beyond recognition. Sharz has never heard of Terrace Diva, but Destry claims to have heard it mentioned in one of his ancestor’s diaries, and he leads the Doctor there to look for Nyssa. There’s no sign of her when they arrive, however, and the Doctor is forced to abandon the search to attend the peace talks. To his relief, Nyssa shows up at the talks with Hollis, and the Doctor settles back, confident that he’s going to see Lord Carlisle’s peacemaking skills at work. Before Nyssa can warn him that this might not be the case, Carlisle himself arrives, and the talks commence.

Faye introduces Carlisle and invites Destry and Sharz to make opening statements, but Sharz doesn’t bother, as he has no interest in the talks and just wants them over with so he can prepare for tonight’s one-on-one. Carlisle takes the dais and tries to open negotiations, but it’s clear within seconds that he has no idea what he’s doing -- and to Carlisle’s distress, the Doctor just sits back and watches, confident that Carlisle’s apparent bumbling is just a ruse to get the coaches to underestimate him. Nyssa steps in and asks Sharz whether there have been any other teams, and Sharz admits that there used to be a couple of dozen -- but all the teams except for the Gora and Lineen have been eliminated. Nyssa urges them to see naxy for what it is, but Sharz takes offence at her tone and Davis threatens to throw her out if she continues to interfere. Sharz points out that he’s rich and famous thanks to naxy; he’s been able to work his way up from nothing to become coach of the Gora -- unlike Destry, who inherited his position as Lineen coach and has never set foot on the field himself.

The talks rapidly deteriorate, and as Davis tries to get them back under control, she suddenly goes pale, breaks out in a sweat, and stumbles out of the hall, clearly unwell. Unable to handle things alone, Carlisle declares a recess, and recalls too late that this means that the Doctor and Hollis will now be forced to play their one-on-one match. Sharz gives up and walks out, and Destry sends Hollis to prepare for the match. The Doctor, deeply disappointed with his hero, demands to know how Carlisle could fail so spectacularly, and the guilt-ridden Carlisle stumbles out of the hall in shame. Nyssa, upset, then informs the Doctor that she’s decided to stop travelling with him and become Lord Carlisle’s aide; this may be his last peace negotiation before his retirement, but he will still have influence in the galaxy, and Nyssa believes that she can do more good by his side than with the Doctor. The Doctor is sad but accepts her decision; in any case, it looks as though his own travelling days will soon be over. Meanwhile, Destry tracks down Faye and reveals that her lover, Morian, has returned -- and Faye, galvanised, rushes into Morian’s arms with a squeal of delight.

Carlisle is upset by his failure to save the Doctor, but is delighted when Nyssa reveals that she’s decided to stay on as his aide; finally, he’ll have someone with whom to share his secret. It then occurs to Carlisle that if the Doctor is destined to help him in the future, he can’t possibly die here on Cray -- but Nyssa gently reminds him that the Doctor may only have survived because they saved his life. She thus tells Carlisle of the incriminating papers she found; if they can prove that someone is involved in a conspiracy to extend the game, they may be able to suspend the one-on-one match until their investigation is complete. While Carlisle sorts through his own papers, Nyssa goes through the papers in Faye’s room; however, she finds Faye somewhat disconnected from reality, as if in a drug-induced daze. Amongst Faye’s papers, Nyssa finds further evidence that someone has been using Lord Carlisle’s private channel to transmit classified details of the peace talks to a man named Morian, via the shadow signal that the Doctor detected earlier. But Faye is one of the few people with access to Carlisle’s papers and comms channel, and when Nyssa reveals what she’s found, Faye pulls out a gun and shoots her.

Sharz runs the Doctor through his paces on the practice field, while the Doctor tries to convince him that naxy is a war in which he’s sending men to their deaths. However, Sharz proud of his achievements on the field and claims that he’ll be happy to see his young son follow in his footsteps one day. When pressed, however, he admits that day may never come; the Gora are in an even worse position than has been made public, and even now, they’re hopelessly outnumbered. Which once again begs the question: why does Destry want to end the game when he’s so close to total victory? The Doctor and Hollis are then called out to the field to start the game; this time, Destry is providing the commentary alongside Garny. The buzzer sounds the start of the match, and Hollis trash-talks the Doctor as they fight, trying to work himself up by reminding himself that the Doctor is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of his teammates. Or perhaps he’s just trying to block out the Doctor’s attempts to convince him that what they’re doing is wrong. Just as each team profits from their rivals’ victories, the players’ wives manufacture the weapons that are used by the other team -- the very weapons that kill their own husbands and children. Hollis attacks and swipes the Doctor’s wand out of his hands -- but the Doctor chooses not to pick it up. Instead, he faces Hollis, completely defenceless, refusing to participate in a game he knows is wrong. Furious, Hollis raises his blade to eliminate the Doctor...

Part Five
(drn: 20'17")

Instead of killing the Doctor, Hollis tosses aside his wand and addresses the crowd, telling them that the Doctor is right; naxy is not a game, but a senseless, brutal war. Destry leaves the commentators’ booth as Diblick announces that the game has ended in a mutual surrender -- but as the Doctor and Hollis agree to resume peace talks, the arena walls open up and monsters like the one that attacked Nyssa swarm out onto the pitch, firing laser pistols into the crowd. The Doctor identifies them as Velosian bornoxes, dog-like bipeds capable of being tamed -- or trained to kill. Sharz tries to guide the Doctor and Hollis to safety, but the Doctor is gunned down and Hollis and Sharz must leave him for dead. Hollis decides to track down Destry in the hope that his coach will know what to do, while Sharz flees home to hide out with his wife and son until everything’s back to normal. Meanwhile, Faye’s lover, Morian, walks out onto the pitch and orders the bornoxes to take the Doctor back to Terrace Diva -- and to kill whoever they have to until Arena Bells is secure. Diblick remains in the commentators’ booth, describing the carnage to his listeners, until the bornoxes burst into the booth and gun him down live on air.

Carlisle rushes to tell Faye what’s happened, only to find that she’s shot Nyssa with a stun pistol. She now does the same to Carlisle. Meanwhile, Morian returns to his exclusive hidden casino at Terrace Diva and addresses his off-world guests, apologising for the abrupt end to the naxy match and assuring the disgruntled Mr Jelluhjee that his outstanding wagers will be refunded. He offers a free round of drinks, and sends his guests back to the slot machines until the shuttles are ready to take them off-world. Destry then arrives in a panic, demanding to know what Morian’s doing, and Morian explains that he was forced to take action when Hollis’ refusal to play jeopardised their plan. Destry realises that Morian’s “guard dogs” are responsible for the murders at Terrace Diva; they’ve been killing ordinarily citizens who stumbled across the hidden casino. Destry returns to the Lineen practice grounds, where Hollis finds him and asks what they should do next; however, the shaken Destry has no answers for him, and he simply insists that everything will return to normal once the game resumes.

The Doctor recovers to find that he, Nyssa and Carlisle have been chained up in the Terrace Diva luxury boxes, prisoners of Faye and of Morian, whom Carlisle identifies as the head of a notorious crime syndicate. Morian then arrives to speak with his special prisoner -- not Carlisle, but the Doctor. He reveals that he set up this secret casino some time ago and has been shuttling in rich offworlders to watch the naxy games; the alien coin that the Doctor found outside was dropped by a careless visitor. The Doctor notes that Faye’s health has improved dramatically, as if she’s no longer suffering from withdrawal symptoms. Morian sends the besotted Faye out to check the status of the guest shuttles, and then confirms the Doctor’s suspicions; some time ago, a chemical researcher paid off his gambling debts to Morian by giving him the secret of the Mayzerians, a species that naturally emits an addictive pheromone with effects like a love potion. Faye is literally addicted to Morian, and she’s been keeping him updated on the progress of the peace talks -- and once Nyssa and Carlisle got too close to the truth, she put them out of the picture.

Morian now sends Nyssa and Carlisle out of the room so he can speak to the Doctor privately. Some time ago, he began hearing rumours that a time-traveller named the Doctor was the real brains behind Lord Carlisle’s reputation as a peacemaker. Morian did his research on the Doctor, and set up these “peace talks” in order to lure Carlisle to Cray so he could get his hands on the Doctor’s time machine. He knows that it’s a blue box; Faye was specifically looking for it this morning, which is how she found the Doctor and Nyssa so easily. Morian had taken control of Faye to keep an eye on Carlisle, and now he’s got his hands on the Doctor -- and once he controls the Doctor’s time machine, he intends to use it to make a mint in the gambling business, enough to buy control of the whole galaxy.

Morian leaves the Doctor to think over his proposal and returns to the casino, where Destry contacts him and begs him to call off the bornoxes so everything can go back to normal. However, Morian believes that Hollis’ decision to renounce the game in public will mean an end to naxy -- and since all of his personal bets are all based on the Lineen winning the game, he sends out his bornoxes to kill every single Gora player. Destry is appalled; the plan was to put a temporary halt to the game until the Gora had built up their strength, and he doesn’t want to win the game in such a dishonourable fashion. But Morian scoffs and tells him that honour was never part of naxy. The bornoxes begin slaughtering the Gora, including the strikers’ fans and families, and Sharz rushes home through the carnage to get his wife and son out of the city to safety... only to find that he’s arrived too late.

Nyssa and Carlisle try to convince Faye that she’s being influenced by Morian’s pheromones, but she scoffs and reveals that Carlisle himself had made a deal with Morian. Carlisle admits to Nyssa that he’d learned of Morian’s presence on Cray, and had tried to make things easier for the Doctor by offering Morian amnesty for his past crimes in exchange for his agreement not to interfere in the peace talks. Faye laughs at Carlisle, who never even noticed that she was keeping her correspondence with Morian hidden inside Carlisle’s own files, where nobody -- particularly not Carlisle -- would ever look for them. Morian then flings the Doctor into the room to talk over his proposal with Nyssa and Carlisle, and once he’s alone with them, the Doctor reveals that he now knows the truth about his future relationship with Carlisle. Morian gives the Doctor a few minutes alone with his friends, and then returns and repeats his ultimatum. The Doctor refuses to show Morian how his time machine works, and Morian thus calls forth the bornoxes to conduct an experiment: just how much pressure does it take to snap a Time Lord’s spine?

Part Six
(drn: 19'51")

The Doctor, Nyssa and Carlisle try to convince Faye that Morian is controlling her emotions, but to little avail. Fortunately, just as the bornoxes are about to grab the Doctor and start pulling, Hollis bursts in and hacks them down with his naxy blade. The Doctor, Nyssa and Carlisle flee, but Morian draws a gun, pushes past Faye and fires at the Doctor -- and Carlisle throws himself forward, taking the force of the blast. The Doctor, Nyssa and Hollis try to carry the gravely injured Carlisle to safety, but the bornoxes are in pursuit; fortunately, they aren’t particularly fast, but the Doctor knows that Morian will have the TARDIS under guard and suggests that they hole up somewhere else. Hollis thus takes them to the Lineen retirement home, where the bodies of the Lineen killed in yesterday’s match have been interred before burial. For the first time, Hollis is seeing this through the Doctor’s and Nyssa’s eyes and understanding what a tragic waste it all is. Carlisle, obviously dying, asks to speak to the Doctor alone. The last time they met, the Doctor bid Carlisle a very sad farewell, and Carlisle now understands why: for the Doctor, that really was the last time they would meet. Carlisle will never get a chance to say goodbye in kind, and he thus asks the Doctor to say goodbye to his future self when the time comes. Carlisle then dies, and the Doctor breaks the news to the grief-stricken Nyssa and vows to put an end to Morian’s games.

Help comes from an unexpected source when Sharz Sevix shows up at the retirement home alongside Destry. Hundreds of strikers, both Lineen and Gora, have banded together to fight their common enemy, and since Sharz no longer has any reason to flee the city he’s joined forces with his rival to drive Morian and his monsters back where they came from. Morian himself is on his way to the retirement home with Faye, and although she’s starting to question her feelings for Morian, all of her doubts vanish when he kisses her again. At the retirement home, the defenders see Morian and Faye approaching, along with a group of bornoxes who appear be dragging something big behind them. The naxy strikers take position outside, and the Doctor and his friends remain inside the retirement home to confront Morian. As they wait, Hollis thanks Nyssa for opening his eyes to the truth and proposes marriage to her; she politely turns him down, and he admits that he was expecting her to do so but decided to take the chance anyway.

Morian, Faye and a bornox enter the retirement home, where Morian notes that it’s time to announce a winner in the Darzil Carlisle death pool. Destry lashes out at Morian, and Morian scoffs when Hollis supports his coach -- for it’s Destry who is responsible for Hollis’ father’s death. Since the Lineen make money from selling Gora merchandise, Destry’s finances suffer when the Gora are on a losing streak, and Destry thus sabotaged his best player’s wand in order to knock him out of the game and give the Gora a chance to improve. This is the real reason that Destry agreed to the peace talks; if the game had ended with a Lineen victory, Destry would have been bankrupted. Destry has been working with Morian all along, helping to set up the peace talks in exchange for a cut of Morian’s profits from the betting. Realising that he’s lost everything due to his greed, Destry charges Morian, but is killed and eaten alive by the bornox.

Morian then repeats his ultimatum to the Doctor, but the Doctor reveals that, while they’ve been talking, the Lineen and Gora strikers outside the retirement home have overpowered Morian’s army of bornoxes. Morian never expected the teams to put aside their rivalry so quickly, but this is just what they’ve done in the face of a common enemy. Morian accepts that he’s lost, but when Nyssa steps forward to try to reason with Faye, he grabs her, intending to exert the Mayzerian influence on her and use her as a willing hostage to ensure his escape. Before he can retreat, Sharz attacks and kills his bornox guard, and when Morian draws a gun, Nyssa knocks it aside and wriggles out of his grasp. Sharz is only grazed by the shot, but Morian and Faye flee outside. The large object that the bornoxes were dragging behind them turns out to be Morian’s escape shuttle, which he brought up to the retirement home as a safety precaution. Morian and Faye thus escape unscathed from Cray, but the Doctor vows that the crime lord will never catch him off guard again.

The next day, Sharz and Hollis accompany the Doctor and Nyssa back to the TARDIS. Nyssa’s bravery and quick moves in the final showdown have shown Sharz that women can be more than just cheerleaders, and Hollis has ensured that Lord Carlisle will get the credit for bringing peace to Cray. As the Doctor had claimed, this is the last peace that Carlisle negotiated before his retirement; he just hadn’t realised that Carlisle had been “retired” in the naxy sense of the word. The Doctor and Nyssa depart, leaving Sharz and Hollis to work together and rebuild their planet’s society on more peaceful terms. However, while the Doctor now finds he has an obligation to history that he must fulfil by negotiating peace settlements for Lord Carlisle, Nyssa is still grieving for Carlisle’s death and doesn’t think she can bear to see him again. The Doctor promises to put off his obligations until after Nyssa has left his company.

Source: Cameron Dixon
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