02x10 - Love and Monsters


A man, standing in a disused building site, sees a faint shape in the distance. He looks quickly around him, then runs frantically up a hill, presumably following the faint sound of the TARDIS engines. He reaches the top, panting, and comes across a series of deserted but identical outbuildings, looking very run-down, with the TARDIS parked in the middle of it all, looking extremely out of place and unusual. The man stops, staring at the TARDIS. Slowly, he walks towards it. As he places a hand on the TARDIS door, he hears a voice.

ROSE: Doctor! Doctor, the trap!

He runs quickly towards the source of the shouting.


He enters one of the outbuildings that now appears to be some sort of warehouse, from which various echoing shouts and scuffling sounds are emanating from above him.

THE DOCTOR: Where's he gone? Can you see him?

ROSE: There he is! Stop, no! Watch out! There!


ROSE: There! Over there!

The man enters the warehouse, and runs towards the noise, up several flights of metal stairs. He slowly approaches a door at the end of a long corridor, which has ominous banging and growling sounds coming from it. There is a bright light coming from it. He walks cautiously up to the door, and opens it to reveal a ferocious snarling monster, who roars at him.


Cut to the same man, Elton, at home in front of his home video camera.

ELTON (to the camera): That's what it did. It went RRROOOOAAAAAAAAARRR! And if you think that was the most exciting day of my life, wait 'til you hear the rest. Oh boy...



ELTON: So there I was, with that thing going RAAAAH!


Cut to the roaring monster. As it slowly approaches Elton, snarling menacingly, the Doctor appears directly behind the door, holding up a large pork chop just out of the monsters reach.

THE DOCTOR: Here, boy! Eat the food! C'mon, look at the lovely food! Isn't' that nice? Isn't it? Yes it is!

The monster turns to face the Doctor, who addresses Elton, who is still standing motionless, in shock.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Get out of here, quickly! (To the monster). Have some, boy! Wouldn't you like a porky-choppy then? (Shouts to Elton). I said, run!

Rose comes charging onto the scene and with a loud cry, flings the contents of a blue steaming bucket onto the monster. The monster howls and clutches its eyes.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Wrong one! You made it worse!

ROSE: You said blue!

THE DOCTOR: I said "not blue"!

The monster spots Rose, who whimpers and sprints off in the opposite direction.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D) (irritated): Oh... hold on!

He slams the door shut. There is a moment of silence and stillness during which Elton stares on in shock, a Scooby Doo style chase scene takes place, with the Doctor, Rose and the monster all screaming, yelling and running haphazardly though three long corridors running at right angles to the main one in which Elton is standing there, watching in complete bewilderment. The monster chases the Doctor one way, Rose the other, then both of them, until Rose turns on the monster with a red bucket, chasing him in one direction and then the other, the Doctor now following, until he stops, notices Elton, and then...

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D) (confused): Hold on... don't I know you?

Elton just runs, down the stairs and out of the building.


As he stands against a wall, panting, he hears the TARDIS engines again.

ELTON (voice-over): You can't imagine it, the Doctor's machine, the most beautiful sound in the world.

Elton leans against the wall, with the deflated air of someone who has missed a great opportunity.


ELTON (speaking very seriously): Yet that wasn't the first time I met the Doctor, and it certainly wasn't the last, ohhh no. I just put that bit at the beginning because it's a brilliant opening. But... erm... this is the story of me, and my encounters with alien life-forms. But be warned, because it is gonna get scarrrrry. (Leans towards the camera menacingly, teeth bared). I... I need a remote control zoom, I'm having to do that with the lean, the scarrrrry. But look, don't worry, 'cos it's not just me sitting here talking, ohhh no.


He's now standing on an ordinary suburban street, talking to a home video camera.

ELTON: That's Ursula on camera.

Ursula waves a gloved hand in front of the camera.

URSULA: Hello!

ELTON: My good friend, Ursula Blake, and my brand-new camera.

The camera moves, and we see a blur before it focuses to view a beige-coloured terraced house in the middle of the street, then shifts again to see Elton standing in front of the building.

ELTON (CONT'D): That was my family home, down there. (Whispers). I did try, but there's two women live there now and they're a bit... severe. (He grimaces). So... never mind. But that, is where it all started. That's when I first met the Doctor.


We see a faded, blurry view of the inside of an ordinary house, Elton's family home. It is very dark, at night, and the view is low, near the ground, through the eyes of a very young Elton.

ELTON (voice-over): What was it... erm... I must have been 3 or 4 years old. Middle of the night, went downstairs, and there was this - man.

We see a blurred progression, young Elton moving down the dark stairs and into the living room. He looks up to a blurred image of the Doctor, standing there and looking straight at the him, a disturbed expression on his face.


The image then fades, to leave Elton staring at the house, reminiscing.

URSULA: So what happened? Elton, tell me. Why was he there?

ELTON: I don't know. I, I still don't know. All those years ago...

He pauses a moment, lost in thought, then he waves his hands at the camera, and the filming cuts.


ELTON: OK, first thing's first, my name is Elton. Er... not to be confused with...

Quick cut to footage of Elton John in front of a piano, performing in his usual glitzy clothes.

ELTON (CONT'D): I left school, got a job, Transport Manager, Rated Logistics, modest little haulage company, perfectly normal life, and then... it all went mad.


We see Elton going shopping in a busy London street, carrying shopping bags and examining things in shop windows.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voiceover): Two years ago, I was in town, I was stocking up. You know, nothing special, all the usual stuff, when all of a sudden...

As Elton walks past a shop window, a dummy in it raises his arm and hits the glass in the window, which suddenly explodes behind him. As he stops in shock, all the other windows suddenly explode one after each other and the dummies march out, creating chaos. Elton stares at them. ("Rose", 101).


ELTON (CONT'D): Shop window dummies! Come to life!


The dummies march through the streets, shooting people with jets of red light. They shoot telephone wires, causing electrical fires, and smash up cars, with people screaming and running in all directions. Elton, fleeing the scene, nearly gets run over by a confused driver trying to avoid the people running in the road.


ELTON (CONT'D): I survived... obviously...


A new street, Elton walks down it along with other ordinary people going about their day-to-day business, Elton is the first to notice something...

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Twelve months later, I'm back in town. I'm up west, looking for a new suit, something nice and smart, when I hear this plane overhead.

There is a loud humming sound and Elton and all the other shoppers look up in time to see a large alien spaceship (104 "Aliens of London"), ejecting clouds of black smoke, flying very low through the streets above everyone's heads and crashing into the top of Big Ben, ripping the clock face and bell tower off and sending bits and pieces flying everywhere, the bell tolling as the spaceship hits it. The shoppers put their hands to their mouths and Elton stares in horror.


ELTON (CONT'D): But it wasn't over yet, 'cos then... Christmas Day...


We see Elton sleeping in his bed under a duvet.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): I'm in bed fast asleep, nice and cosy, quarter to eight in the morning, when all of a sudden...

The window explodes inwards (2005 Christmas Special "The Christmas Invasion"). His eyes snap open.


ELTON (CONT'D) (gesturing outwards with his hands): Smash!


The smash replays, shards of glass flying in all directions.


ELTON (CONT'D) (gesturing at his bed): And I was stuck in bed, right, 'cos there was glass everywhere! And I was barefoot! I had to invent a rudimentary pulley system, just to reach my boots! And by the time I'd done that...


Elton looks out of his broken bedroom window to see the Sycorax spaceship, he stares, open mouthed.


ELTON (CONT'D): And that's when it all started happening. That's how I met Ursula.


Cut to Ursula, sitting on a park bench.

URSULA: His name is the Doctor.


ELTON: That's how I met Victor Kennedy.


Cut to Mr Kennedy, moving to strike Elton with his hand.

VICTOR: You stupid man!


ELTON: That's how I met Jackie Tyler.


Cut to Jackie, in the launderette.

JACKIE: Oh, you don't meet many Eltons!


ELTON: And that's how I finally met the Doctor, and realised the truth.


We see the faded image from Elton's childhood, of the Doctor looking down on him as a little boy, the same one as before.


When Elton re-appears, he has his head rested on his arms and appears dejected. The camera cuts out.


When it records again, Elton sniffs and wipes his nose as he turns the camera to face him, as though he had just been crying.

ELTON: Um, I should say, this isn't my whole life. It's not all... spaceships and stuff, 'cos I'm into all sorts of things. Er... I like football... I like a drink... I like Spain, and if there's one thing I really love, Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra, 'cos you can't beat a bit of ELO.


Cut to Elton dancing to "Mr Blue Sky", jumping around, etc. He stomps on his sofa and plays air drums, whirling around in his swivel chair.


Elton switches his home video back on.

ELTON (CONT'D): So, great big spaceship hanging over London. Imagine the theories.


We see Elton typing in front of his computer when suddenly, sparks and smoke fly from it, and the monitor explodes. Elton jumps backwards.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): The Internet was on meltdown. But I kept on digging. Something was going on, ohhh yes.

Elton opens up an Internet blog titled, "MY INVASION BLOG", with a large photograph of the Doctor against a falling snowflake background.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): And then one day, on some obscure little blog by someone called Ursula Blake, it was like a chance in a million. It was him, it was that man again but the photo was new, it was taken on Christmas Day but Christmas just gone. And he looked exactly the same.


Elton and Ursula Blake are sitting together on a park bench, talking about the Doctor.

URSULA: His name is the Doctor.

ELTON: Doctor what?

URSULA: That's all anyone knows. On Christmas Day I was taking photos all over the place. I went mad with it all, spaceships and lasers and everything. We all went to Trafalgar Square that night, 'cos everyone was celebrating, just being alive. And I snapped him in passing, that's all. He was just some bloke. I didn't realise he was significant, until Mr Skinner pointed it out.

ELTON: Who's Mr Skinner?

URSULA: Oh, there's a few of us. The Inner Sanctum, all studying this Doctor.

ELTON (sliding closer to her): I've seen him. The Doctor, I swear to you, I saw him when I was a kid. He was in my house, and he was downstairs.

URSULA: Don't tell me, he looked exactly the same then as he does now.

ELTON (amazed): Yes, yes! Oh my God. You believe me!

URSULA (grinning): You're not the only one, you know...


Elton and Ursula walk through the park together.

ELTON (voice-over): So that's how I met Ursula, all thanks to the Doctor. Turns out we read all the same sites and she only lived half a mile away. She was like a proper mate. Poor Ursula.


A quick flash-forward of Ursula screaming in pain and fear.


In front of his home video, Elton sits reminiscing. It cuts, before Elton speaks again.

ELTON (CONT'D): But like she said, there was this little community, the select few, all with their stories of the Doctor.


A group of people are crowded round a table in a basement, talking and laughing.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): This little gang used to meet up, underneath the old library on Macateer Street. Mr Skinner, first name Colin, but we always called him Mr Skinner. I don't know why, we... just did.


Mr Skinner shows the others a presentation on a paper board, and making marks on it.

MR SKINNER: To me, the Doctor isn't a man, he's more a collection of archetypes...


ELTON (voice-over): Then there was Bridget.

We see Bridget showing them a presentation, but on a slide projector, the lights dimmed.

BRIDGET: All these different Doctors come and go, but the single constant factor is this faux police box. It keeps cropping up, throughout history...

ELTON (voice-over): She lived way up North, but she travelled down without fail, just for the meetings.


ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Then, there was Bliss.

Bliss uncovers and shows the others her own modern interpretive art creation. The others look on.

BLISS: What I'm trying to do is sum up the Doctor, what he means to us.

ELTON (voice-over): She was ever so sweet, bless. Bless Bliss, we used to say.

BLISS: What he could represent and what he should represent. And what he... never won't represent... sort of thing.

The others nod understandingly.


The gang are gathered round the table again.

URSULA: We should have a name. You know, as a group.

BLISS (in agreement): Names are very important.

ELTON: What we need is a good, strong name, like a team. Something like... London Investigation 'n' Detective Agency, LINDA for short.

MR SKINNER: Say it again.

ELTON: London Investigation 'n' Detective Agency.


ELTON: Fish 'n' Chips, Rock 'n' Roll... Chaka Demus 'n' Pliers!

Everyone laughs and nods comprehension.

BRIDGET: Oooh, I like it, it's not too solemn.

BLISS: I like the 'n'.

MR SKINNER: We're the men from LINDA!

BRIDGET: And the women!

MR SKINNER: Linda United!

URSULA (to Elton): Did you think of that on the spot?

ELTON (shaking his head): No, I've been wanting to use it for years.

MR SKINNER (raising his glass): I give you... LINDA!


And everyone toasts LINDA together.


ELTON: So we'd all meet up, every week, and we'd talk about the Doctor for a bit. But after a while... Bridget started cooking.


Everyone crowds round a table displaying some of Bridget's culinary creations. Bridget is serving everyone.

URSULA: Oh my God, that's gorgeous! No really, wow! Oi, the rest of you, get your hands off!


ELTON (voice-over): The next thing you know, Mr Skinner started his readings, 'cos he was writing his own novel.

Everyone is on chairs in a row in front of Mr Skinner, who is reading aloud from a pile of papers from a box file in his lap.

MR SKINNER: That's the last time you ride the ghost train, Johnny Fransetta... now say your prayers! To be continued...

Everyone groans, disappointed that it's over.

BLISS: You can't leave it there!


ELTON: As time went on, we got to know each other better and better.

Bridget is talking to the others. Everyone is sitting in a circle.

BRIDGET: I started all of this because... erm... my daughter disappeared. It wasn't aliens that took her away, it was just, drugs. I come down to London, every week, and I just keep looking for her.

Bridget is unable to hold back tears, and she begins to cry.

URSULA (softly): Bridget...

The others all look on sympathetically as Ursula puts an arm around her.


Bliss is playing a guitar and singing, whilst everyone sits around her in a circle, listening.

BLISS (singing) : I gave my love a chicken, it had no bone / I gave my love a cherry, it had no stone...


We then see Bliss playing her guitar more upbeat than before and Ursula joining in with a tambourine. They are both singing, and the others watch, clapping in time with the music.

ELTON (voice-over): Then it turned out that Bridget could play the piano, and I confessed my love of ELO. Next thing you know...




The group have formed a band, Bridget on the piano, Mr Skinner on drums, Bliss on rhythm guitar and Bridget on bass guitar. Elton is centre-stage as the lead singer with a microphone.

ELTON (singing): You got me running, goin' outta my mind... / You got me thinking that I'm wasting my time / (with Bridget). Don't bring me down.


ELTON: Just for fun.


ELTON (singing, with Ursula): Don't bring me down!

He twirls around and they continue the performance, Elton offering the microphone to the others so they can take turns to sing. Suddenly, the electricity is apparently cut and the basement goes pitch black.

MR SKINNER: Careful, mind the cables.

The basement outer door has opened, with a banging sound, and a black silhouette is shown as a white light illuminates the inner doors and the basement. We hear a creaking gate as the shadow opens them and enters. LINDA stare at him, confused.

ELTON (voice-over): And that's when it all changed, that Tuesday night in March. That's when he arrived.

VICTOR (setting down his briefcase): Lights!

The lights switch on, one by one.

ELTON (voice-over): That's when we met Victor Kennedy. The golden age, was gone.

Victor Kennedy looks down at them all, aloof. LINDA stare right back, complete bewildered. He is clothed in black, with a black cloak, a black top-hat and a black-and-silver cane.

VICTOR (voice dripping with sarcasm): So, we meet at last... "LINDA".

MR SKINNER (extending a hand): Pleased to meet you, sir. I'm sorry, was the music too loud?

VICTOR (backing away): No no no no, I don't shake hands, back, back. I suffer from a skin complaint, Eczeema.

ELTON: Oh, you mean "eczema"?

VICTOR: Oh, this is worse, much worse, I blister to the touch. Back, back, all of you, further, further. Thank you.

They all, finally, back away.

ELTON: Sorry, don't mind me asking, but who are you?

VICTOR: I am your salvation.


LINDA are gathered around Mr Kennedy's laptop, which is showing video footage of the Doctor and Rose boarding the TARDIS.

URSULA: That's the Doctor!

ELTON: It's really him!

VICTOR: You've forgotten your purpose in life. You, with your band... and your cakes... and your blubbing and all the while he still exists, the Doctor.

BRIDGET: Look at him, just look!

They press closer to the laptop.

VICTOR: Move back, move back, all of you! Oh, wait for this, the picture cuts out, but the sound still continues.

He presses a few keys.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Listen. Listen to the sound of the universe... yes...

Upon hearing it, Elton backs away into a corner, and sits on a chair, remembering, with his head in his hands.

URSULA: What is it? What's wrong?

VICTOR (stands, extends his cane): Leave him! (To Elton). You've heard it before, haven't you? When? When was it? Where? Where were you?

ELTON (quietly): I'd forgotten, until now. But it was that night...

VICTOR: What night?

ELTON: I was just a kid... that's why I went downstairs. It woke me up. That noise...


Back to Elton's childhood, point of view of him going down the stairs into the living room. The TARDIS sounds in the background.


ELTON (CONT'D): But what is it? What does it mean?

VICTOR: That is a sound of his spaceship.


Back at a table, Victor opens his briefcase and pulls out some files.

VICTOR: Right then, homework! Using the Torchwood files, we're able to look at all the old databases in a completely new light. We're able to build up a more detailed profile of the Doctor. I've allocated tasks to each of you. I'd like you to...

Mr Skinner almost brushes Victor's hand.

VICTOR (CONT'D) (sharply): Carefu l! Watch the eczeema! I'd like you to complete your targets and meet back here this time next week, one step closer to catching the Doctor.

He sits behind the main desk.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Well don't just sit there, move!

The others jump up and leave. Victor waves Bliss back.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Erm, Bliss? It is Bliss, isn't it?

BLISS: Yeah.

VICTOR (smiles): Could I have a word with you in private, please?

BLISS (happily): Course you can, yeah.

VICTOR (still smiling): Thank you. (To the others): Goodbye, goodbye.

The others all get into the service lift.


Elton and the others walk out onto the street.

ELTON: Better get to work! Lots to do.

URSULA: I never thought of it as work.

ELTON: It's what we've always wanted, though. To find the Doctor.

URSULA: Yeah, I suppose.

Just as they walk out of view, Bliss screams.


Back in Elton's room, he is back to making his video diary.

ELTON: All of a sudden, without anyone saying so, we were working for Victor Kennedy.


Victor is sitting behind the desk, hands steepled. The others are all sitting behind desks making notes, searching through files, etc.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Though we had to admit, he was right. His methods were much more rigorous. It felt like we were getting closer and closer to the Doctor.

Elton raises his ruler in the air to get Victor's attention.

ELTON: Mr Kennedy?


ELTON: We... we were wondering... no sign of Bliss. Do you know where she is?

VICTOR (thinks fast): Yes, didn't she tell you? She's getting married! She left a message. It'll never last. (Quieter). Stupid girl. (Sharper). Come on, back to work!

They all start working again.


ELTON: But we did get lucky once.


Back to LINDA HQ. Ursula is at Elton's desk. Mr Skinner grabs a piece of paper excitedly.

MR SKINNER: A police box! Newly arrived, it says newly arrived today! And it's in Woolwich!

VICTOR (grabs the paper from Mr Skinner): Well don't just stand there, move! Move, go, go!


ELTON: Don't get excited, that's where you came in.


Back to the deserted warehouses from the start. We get fast-forwarded through the events.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Woolwich. Police box. Red bucket, blue bucket. Police are stupid, etcetera.


Victor towers over Elton at his desk and yells.

VICTOR: Useless!

ELTON: I just froze.

VICTOR: You met him... and you froze, you stupid man!

Victor raises a hand to hit Elton, who ducks. Ursula expression turns to anger.

ELTON: You can't hit me! 'Cos you don't touch, you said so, you get a rash and an itch and...

Victor grabs his cane and raises it.

VICTOR: I can use this!

Ursula stands up and storms over, yelling back.

URSULA: Use that cane on him and you'll get one hell of a smack off me! And then a good kick! Is that completely understood, Mr Kennedy?

VICTOR: Duly noted. Ursula... Blake. Most likely to fight back.

Ursula and Victor stare at each other a for a moment.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Right then! We'll change tack, we'll approach this sideways.

Elton and Ursula share a grateful smile.

VICTOR (CONT'D): If we're to discover the truth about the Doctor, then we need to try and find... her.

A bad digital photo of Rose.


VICTOR: Now when it comes to the Doctor's companion, the Torchwood files are strangely lacking.

The photo has been projected on a wall, and changes to an an image of her outside Downing Street. Victor is standing at the front, the others are sitting to listen.

VICTOR (CONT'D): It seems the evidence has been corrupted, something called "Bad Wolf" virus. At least we've got these photographs.

He clicks a remote at the projector, the photos change again.

VICTOR (CONT'D): They're first hand evidence. Elton?

ELTON: It was a London accent, definitely. She's from London.

VICTOR: So we hit the streets. We get out there, we take the photographs. Someone's got to know who she is somewhere.

BRIDGET: Yes, but London's a big place. I mean I should know, my own daughter's out there.

VICTOR: Bridget, don't make this personal. I don't like to be touched literally, or metaphorically, thank you very much, I haven't got the time. Bleeding hearts outside! Find me that girl!

He hands a printed photograph to each one.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Go. Now, move!


ELTON steps out into a busy London street, checking the photograph of Rose.

ELTON (voice-over): So it began. The impossible task. To scour the mean streets, to search a major capital city for an unknown girl. To hunt down that face in a seething metropolis of lost souls. To find that one girl in ten million...

OLD LADY: Oh, that's Rose Tyler. She lives just down there. (She points down a street). Bucknell House, number forty-eight. Her mother's Jackie Tyler. Nice family. Bit odd...

She walks off, leaving Elton looking bemused. After a satisfied smile, Elton runs through the street the way the Old Lady pointed.


Elton dances around his room to ELO again.


On the streets, he runs between two parked cars but stops when he hears something.

WOMAN: Oi, Jackie!

Jackie is walking up the other side of the street with two plastic bags full of washing.

JACKIE: Hello sweetheart!

Elton raises the photo of Rose, comparing her to Jackie.

JACKIE (CONT'D): I'll see you down the Spinning Wheel tonight, yeah? Pub quiz, get 'em in!

WOMAN: All right then.

Jackie enters the Wash Inn launderette. Elton has an idea, and quickly strips off his jacket, then his shirt. Slipping the jacket back on, he screws up his shirt and follows Jackie in.


In the launderette, Jackie is sorting through her washing.

ELTON (voice-over): I'd been trained for this. Victor Kennedy's classes covered basic surveillance and espionage.

He opens one of the washing machines and puts his shirt in.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Step one: engage your target. Find some excuse to start a conversation. But how was I gonna do this? How?

Jackie calls over to him.

JACKIE: Excuse me love, you couldn't give us a quid for two fifties, could you?

Elton rummages in his pocket.

ELTON: Yeah... just a... ah, da-da!

He pulls out a pound coin and trades it with Jackie.

JACKIE: Oh lovely! Cheers.

Elton turns back to his washing machine.

ELTON (voice-over): Step two: without provoking suspicion, get on first name terms with the target.

JACKIE: My name's Jackie. By the way.

Elton can't believe his luck.

ELTON: I'm Elton.

JACKIE: Ah, you don't meet many Eltons, do you? Apart from the obvious!

They both laugh.

ELTON (voice-over): Step three: ingratiate yourself with a joke or some humourous device.

JACKIE (laughs): I tell you what, Elton. Here we are, complete strangers, and I'm flashing you me' knickers!

Elton isn't sure what to make of that, but laughs anyway.

ELTON (voice-over): Step four: find some subtle way to integrate yourself into the target's household.

Elton goes to say something, but Jackie gets there first.

JACKIE: Mind you, I'm only down here because my washing machine's knackered. I don't suppose you're any good at fixing things, are you?


Elton is crouched behind the washing machine changing the plug, Jackie is watching him.

ELTON: Here we are. It was a fuse. There's nothing wrong with the machine. That's fine. All working!

He stands up, and Jackie stops flouncing her hair.

JACKIE: Oh Elton, I should have you on tap!

They laugh.

JACKIE (CONT'D): I used to have this little mate called Mickey, he did all that stuff. (Quieter, nostalgic). He's gone now. Bless him.

ELTON: Well, if you need me, give us a call. I'll jot down my number.

JACKIE: Well you do that, and I'll make us a cup of tea. Go on, go and sit down. Put the telly on if you want, can't bear it silent.


Elton walks into the living room and looks round. He sees the photos of Rose at various ages on the mantelpiece.

JACKIE (from kitchen): It's just me these days, rattling about.


Jackie and Elton are sitting on the sofa drinking tea.

JACKIE: There's my daughter, she's gone travelling. I keep her bedroom all nice and ready though, just in case she comes back.

ELTON: And her name is?


ELTON: It's a nice name, Rose. So where's she... travelling?

JACKIE: All over. She got a mobile, I get a call now and then. Not so often as I'd like. Still, that age, who can be bothered phoning home?

ELTON: Who's she with, is it mates, is it, or...

JACKIE: Just mates. Yeah.

ELTON: Well, if I had you making a nice cup of tea like this, I wouldn't stray far from home.

JACKIE (smiles): You're a charmer. Say it again.

They laugh and sip their tea, Jackie peering at him over the top of her mug.


Victor is happier.

VICTOR: Magnificent! Oh I could kiss you! Except I can't, of course. The eczeema.

ELTON: I've even got a picture of her on my phone.

He gets his mobile out and shows the photo to the group.

MR SKINNER: Oh it's amazing! You've achieved steps one to four in precise order! How did you manage it?

ELTON: Well, I had to work very hard. She keeps everything very close to her chest.

URSULA: That's a hell of a chest.

BRIDGET: But how do you move on? Step five, that's the problem...

VICTOR: Step five! That's this week's homework. I want a full plan of attack from each of you. Now go on, vamoose! (Bangs his cane on the desk). Avante! There's work to do!

The group turn and leave.

VICTOR (CONT'D): And Elton, keep infiltrating, you will do anything to get than information, boy, anything!

ELTON: Yes sir!

VICTOR: Oh, oh Bridget! Bridget, oh yes...

Bridget and Mr Skinner stop and turn back.

VICTOR (CONT'D): Could I have a word with you in private, please?

BRIDGET: Er, Mr Skinner's giving me a lift.

VICTOR: Oh, I can drop you at the station, I'm sure Mr Skinner won't mind, will you?

MR SKINNER: Not at all... erm... well, Bridget, I'll see you next week.

BRIDGET: All right then.

Mr Skinner gives her a kiss on the cheek. Elton and Ursula smile from the doorway, then leave as Mr Skinner joins them.

BRIDGET (CONT'D): Bye bye!


Outside, Ursula, Elton and Mr Skinner are walking away.

URSULA: Now Mr Skinner, I don't mean to pry, but did you give Bridget a little kiss back then?

MR SKINNER: I think I did.

URSULA: And if you get your way, might there be more little kisses between the two of you?

MR SKINNER: I think there might...

URSULA: I knew it!

ELTON: That's brilliant!

MR SKINNER: Now, let's not get excited. We'll see.

Bridge screams from the basement, unnoticed by the three of them.


Jackie brings in a plate of biscuits and a mug of tea while Elton fixes another plug. Cut between him doing various odd jobs, putting up shelves.

ELTON (voice-over): Infiltration went well, cause Jackie kept phoning up needing this and needing that.

JACKIE (of the shelves, gesturing): Down a bit.

ELTON (voice-over): It was strange, the amount of things that needed doing.

Elton is standing on a stool, probably changing a light bulb, Jackie eyes up his stomach before offering him a cup of tea.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): It's like that flat was jinxed.

Cut to him changing a fuse or three. Then he's got his head buried under the kitchen sink, Jackie enters, about to say something, but shuts her mouth and instead contemplates his bum.

ELTON (now wedged in the small gap between the wall and the sofa): It's weird these fuses keep blowing. Must be near a sub station. Then you get the power surges still... there we go! Fixed!

Jackie has entered behind him, in a very short black skirt. As Elton turns round, he comes face to face with her stomach, and quickly stands up.

JACKIE: Here we are! A little reward for my favourite handyman.

She's really gone to town; makeup, her hair loose and a tight fitting top that shows off her chest. She hands Elton a glass of red wine.

ELTON: I shouldn't really, I've got the car outside.

JACKIE: Well, you could always splash out on a taxi, or... (suggestively). Whatever. See what happens.

Elton nods, a little nervy.

ELTON: Right... cheers?

JACKIE: Cheers.

They clink glasses and drink.

ELTON: Very nice. What's that, French?

JACKIE: I s'pose so. They know how to do things, the French...

ELTON: Is it from Rose? I mean, is she in France?

JACKIE: My daughter won't be coming back tonight. Just in case you're wondering. We've got the place to ourselves.

ELTON: Right...

A pause, and we can hear Il Divo in the background.

ELTON (CONT'D) (after listening): Nice music.

JACKIE: Il Divo.

ELTON: Yeah.

JACKIE: You were saying, power surges.

She advances on Elton, who backs away into the wall.

ELTON: From the sub station, yeah.

JACKIE: Is that why it gets so hot in here?

ELTON: Is it hot?

JACKIE: Oh I think so. Should take your jacket off.

ELTON: No, I'm fine, I'll just...

JACKIE: No, look, you must be boiling!

She "accidentally" spills her wine down his shirt.

JACKIE (CONT'D): Oh, look at your shirt! Sorry...

ELTON: I'm... I'm... I'm fine, it's all right.

JACKIE: I've ruined it.

ELTON: No, no. Honestly, it's.. it's fine.

JACKIE: Take it off, I'll put it in the wash.

ELTON: Oh come on, it's only a little drop.

Jackie sloshes the rest of her glass over the shirt - deliberately, not even pretending it's an accident.

JACKIE: Oh... there now. Ruined.


Elton scoots into the bathroom and starts shrugging off his jacket.

ELTON (voice-over): And there I was. The ultimate step five.

He takes his shirt off, and starts preening himself - doing his hair, spraying deodorant, etc.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): The perfect infiltration.

He gargles with mouthwash, then makes some boxing moves to psych himself up.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): Target: Jackie Tyler.

He points at himself in the mirror and clicks his fingers before leaving the bathroom.


Elton appears in Jackie's bedroom door.

ELTON: You're right, it is a bit hot. But it's about to get hotter!

Jackie's sitting on the bed, talking to someone on the phone.

JACKIE (on the phone): I'll see you soon. All right, be careful.

Elton looks concerned.


She replaces the phone and sighs.

ELTON: Everything alright?

JACKIE: That was my daughter.

She finally turns to the half naked Elton. Elton in turn looks sheepish.

JACKIE (CONT'D): Oh, look at you. I'm sorry. I was just being stupid.

ELTON: Is she okay?

JACKIE: She's so far away. I get left here sometimes and, um... I don't know where she is, anything could be happening to her, anything. And I just go a bit mad. (Pause). Put your shirt back on.

ELTON (quietly): Where is she?

JACKIE: Doesn't matter. I'm sorry. You'd better go.

Elton turns to leave, but has a thought.

ELTON: Actually...(voice-over): That's when it struck me. Funny the things you think of with your shirt off. But that's when I realised what was really important. (To Jackie) : Never mind about Rose. I'm not even gonna ask. And I will put my shirt back on, because I'm going to go out and get us both a pizza. Cause I reckon you need cheering up. She goes swanning off and who's left to care about you, eh? So I say a nice bit of pizza, we'll put the telly on nice and loud and annoy that woman next door, just you and me as proper mates. Yeah? Mates. Go on. Say yes.

JACKIE (whispers): Yes!


Elton walks back through the subway with a box of pizza.

ELTON (voiceover): All of a sudden, a lot of things made sense. I'd got so lost in conspiracies and aliens and targets, I'd been missing the obvious. Cos I did like Jackie, but I liked someone else even more!


Back in his flat, Elton is dancing along to "Mr Blue Sky" by ELO. Cut to various clips of him and Ursula together, all the good times they've had.


Back on the estate, Jackie is standing waiting outside, holding Elton's jacket.

ELTON: Right. Let's get inside then, the pizza's getting cold.

JACKIE (coldly): I went in your coat. For once in my life I thought: I'll pay. I thought: He's such a nice man, he won't accept anything, so I'll just slip a tenner in his pocket. And look what I found.

She pulls out his photograph of Rose.

JACKIE (CONT'D): A photograph of my daughter.

ELTON: No, no, no, no, no, it's not like that. I can explain!

JACKIE: I bet you can.

ELTON: I wasn't being pervy or anything, I wasn't after her! I was looking for the Doctor.

JACKIE: Oh I know that. I worked that out. 'Cos it's never me, is it?

ELTON: No, but that's how it started, but I changed my mind!

JACKIE: Let me tell you something. About those who get left behind. Because it's hard. And that's what you become, hard. But if there's one thing I've learnt, it's that I will never let her down. And I'll protect them both until the end of my life. So whatever you want, I'm warning you: back off.

ELTON: But Jackie, I only wanted to meet him.

JACKIE: I thought you liked me.

ELTON: I do!

JACKIE (shouting, upset): Just get out of here! (Throws his jacket at him). I said get out! And leave me alone!

She runs back into the flat in tears, leaving Elton standing with the pizza and his jacket.


Elton's not happy.

ELTON: And she was right! It's shameful, we used that woman...

VICTOR: I knew I couldn't trust you! You broke cover, you stupid little man, you failed step five!

ELTON: I don't care about step five! Because it's all gone wrong, Mr Kennedy, ever since you turned up! We used to come here every week, and we'd have a laugh. We were friends. No wonder they stopped coming. I mean there's no Bliss any more, and even Bridget, she hasn't turned up.

MR SKINNER: I've been phoning and phoning her, there's no reply.

ELTON: And who can blame her?! I'm sorry Victor, but you're on your own. Because I am leaving! And so are you, Mr Skinner! And as for you, Ursula... (Walks over to her desk and stands over her). You're coming with me. And we're going to the Golden Locust and we're gonna have a Chinese.

URSULA: What's that got to do with it?

ELTON: I mean you and me. Together. Having a meal. If you want...

URSULA (touched): Oh... I'd love it.

VICTOR: But you can't leave. You'll never know what he was doing, the Doctor. You'll never know what he was doing in your house all those years ago.

ELTON: No. I'll never know. (Pause). Ursula, get your stuff. Mr Skinner, are you coming? Not to the Chinese, if you don't mind, just sort of walking out.

MR SKINNER: I certainly am!

ELTON: Victor. Good luck. Good bye.

VICTOR: Mr Skinner! Would you stay for a minute, please?

MR SKINNER: We're walking out.

VICTOR: I've got numbers for Bridget! I've kept records, I've got old numbers. (Rummages in bag). We could track her down. Together. You and I.

Elton exchanges a look with Ursula and Elton and shrugs.

MR SKINNER: That's more like the old team spirit. You two have a nice time.

URSULA: I hope you find her.

ELTON: I'll email you.

Elton and Ursula turn towards the door and Victor gestures for Mr Skinner to come up to the desk.

VICTOR: Just come a little closer. Come on.

Mr Skinner approaches the desk.


Elton and Ursula walk briskly along the street outside, hand in hand.

URSULA: Mm, prawns!

ELTON: Yeah, I like prawns.

URSULA: Do you?

A scream from Mr Skinner emits from the building, which neither of them hear.

ELTON: Crispy aromatic though.

URSULA (feeling her pockets): Oh, I left my phone...

ELTON: Really?

URSULA: Yeah! It's not in my pocket.

ELTON: So much for the big exit.

URSULA: Yeah... come on.

They turn back.

URSULA (CONT'D): Hurry up.


The lift clunks back down to the basement. Elton and Ursula open the gates and step out.

URSULA: I'm not stopping, I just left my... ph... phone.

She trails off as she notices the lack of Mr Skinner. Victor is at his desk, hidden behind a paper.

URSULA (CONT'D): Victor?

VICTOR (slightly panicky, voice strange): Take your phone and go.

URSULA (looking around): Where's Mr Skinner?

VICTOR: He's gone to the toilet.

ELTON (he and Ursula are slowly edging towards him): But... we haven't got toilets. We have to use the pub on the corner.

VICTOR (uneasy, still hidden behind paper): Well... well... well that's... that's where he is, then.

MR SKINNER (just his voice, sounding strangely squelchy): Help me...

URSULA: ... What was that?

VICTOR (voice rising): Nothing, it was nothing, it was nothing!

MR SKINNER: Help me!

VICTOR: Shut up.

ELTON: That's Mr Skinner...

URSULA (staring at the clawed green hands clutching the paper): Victor... look at your hands.

VICTOR (lowering the paper): Look at the rest of me.

Victor is revealed in his true form, a blob-like green alien. Fat and squelchy with a mane of black hair.

VICTOR (CONT'D): You've dabbled with aliens... now meet the genuine article.

URSULA (disgusted): Oh my God.

ELTON: You're a... thing!

VICTOR (put out): A thing? This thing is my true form. Better than that crude pink shape you call a body.

Mr Skinner's face is poking out of Victor's fat green belly.

MR SKINNER: What happened? Where am I?

Ursula and Elton stare.

MR SKINNER (CONT'D): Ursula? Is that you?

URSULA (horrified): That's Mr Skinner! What've you done to him?

VICTOR: I've absorbed him.

He licks his lips. Bridget's face is sticking out of his back.

BRIDGET: Colin? Is that you? Colin?

MR SKINNER: Bridget, my love?

URSULA: Oh my God! That's Bridget!

BRIDGET (desperately): Colin, where are you?

MR SKINNER: I'm here, Bridget! It's all right, I'm close.

URSULA: You've absorbed them both!

ELTON: What about Bliss? Where is she?

The sound of Bliss straining to say something comes from within Victor.

ELTON (CONT'D): ... What?

Victor tilts to one side, taking his weight off one of his buttocks.

BLISS: I said "you really don't want to know".

Victor shifts his weight back and Bliss groans.

ELTON: You've absorbed her.

Victor nods with a twisted smile

ELTON (CONT'D): Are you some sort of... Absorbathon? An Absorbaling? ... An Absorbaloff?

VICTOR: Yes! I like that.

URSULA: Let them go. I'm ordering you! Let those people go!

VICTOR: Oh, but they taste so sweet. Just think about the Doctor... oooh, how will he taste? All that experience, all that knowledge, and if I've got to absorb Jackie Tyler to get to him, then so be it.

ELTON (menacingly): Don't you dare.

Ursula suddenly grabs Victor's cane and brandishes it at him. He cowers.

URSULA: If I have to beat them out of you!

VICTOR (simpering): Oh, no! Please don't hit me! Look at me, I'm such a slow and clumsy beast. Please don't hit me.

URSULA: Well then... give them back.

VICTOR: What... you mean like this? (Grabs hold of Ursula's arm). Just one touch... that's all it takes!

URSULA: Oh, no!

She watches, helpless, as her arm is absorbed by the Absorbaloff.

URSULA (CONT'D) (scared): Oh... oh no!



ELTON (yells, lunges forward): Leave her alone!

URSULA: Don't touch me! Oh, Elton... I'm so sorry... you can't touch me.

ELTON (helpless): Ursula...

VICTOR (triumphantly): "Most likely to fight back" indeed.

ELTON: Leave her alone!

Ursula screams and she is absorbed head first into Victor. Victor shakes, squirming with pleasure as the outline of Ursula's face begins to emerge onto his chest.


ELTON: No, that's not fair!

VICTOR (conversationally): She tastes like chicken.

Ursula's face has now fully appeared on his chest.

URSULA: Elton, where are you?

ELTON (quietly): Please... Mr Kennedy, please. I'm asking you. I'm begging you. Give her back to me.

VICTOR (unsympathetically): I can't. Once they've been absorbed, the process is irreversible.

He sniggers.

URSULA: Wait a minute... now I've been absorbed, I can read his thoughts. Oh my God, Elton... you're next... get out of here... (Victor begins to look up at Elton, smirking). Now you've seen him, he can't let you go. Just run! Go on! Never mind me, get out!

VICTOR: Isn't she the clever one?

URSULA (screams): Run, Elton! Run!

MR SKINNER: Save yourself, boy!

BRIDGET: Run for your life!

While Elton hesitates, Victor stands with surprising agility for a creature his size. He leaps right over the desk and roars. Elton runs.


Out of the doors, down the street, Victor hot on his tail.


Then he reaches a dead end, slamming into a closed gate. Victor comes to a halt, having Elton cornered. Elton kneels, defeated.

VICTOR (mockingly): Ohh, what's the matter? Have you given up so soon?

ELTON (hopelessly): There's no point. Where would I go? Everything I ever wanted... has been absorbed.

URSULA: Oh, Elton. Don't say that.

ELTON: But it's true!

VICTOR: Then join us. Join us, little man. (Starts towards him, beckoning). Come on... everlasting peace. Come on. Join us. Dissolve into me...

He reaches out to touch Elton's forehead. Elton closes his eyes, surrendering, when they hear a sound and feel a breeze that makes Victor look around and Elton open his eyes. The TARDIS materialises right in front of them, and the Doctor steps out, looking less than happy.

THE DOCTOR (to Elton): Someone wants a word with you.

Rose steps out. She looks murderous and advances dangerously on Elton.

ROSE (straight to the point): You upset my mum.

Elton stares, and then glances at the Absorbaloff, which the Doctor and Rose have completely ignored, much to his bewilderment.

ELTON: ... Great big absorbing creature from outer space, and you're having a go at me?

ROSE (dismissing this): No one upsets my mum.

VICTOR (gleefully): At last. The greatest feast of all. The Doctor.

THE DOCTOR (considering him): What's this thing? A sort Absorbatrix? Absorba... clon? Absorbaloff?

VICTOR: Absorbaloff, yes.

ROSE (quietly, to the Doctor): Is it me or is he a bit... Slitheen?

THE DOCTOR (to Victor): Not from Raxacorricofallapatorius, are you?

VICTOR (insulted): No! I'm not the swine! I spit on them! I was born on their twin planet.

THE DOCTOR: Really? What's the twin planet of Raxacorricofallapatorius?



VICTOR: Clom. Yes. And I'll return there victorious, whilst I possess your travelling machine.

Gestures the TARDIS.

THE DOCTOR (skeptical): Well, that's never gonna happen.

VICTOR: Oh, it will. You'll surrender yourself to me, Doctor, or this one dies. (Gestures Elton). You see, I've read about you, Doctor. I've studied you. So passionate, so sweet. You wouldn't let an innocent man die. And I'll absorb him - unless you give yourself to me.

Rose looks up at the Doctor, amused. He scratches the back of his neck.

THE DOCTOR: Sweet... maybe. Passionate... I suppose. But don't ever mistake that for nice. (not what Victor was expecting). Do what you want.

And he waits, as though completely indifferent about what happens to Elton. Rose glances up at him again.

VICTOR (warningly): He'll die, Doctor.

THE DOCTOR: Go on then.

Victor hesitates, completely wrong-footed. Even Rose looks slightly worried.

VICTOR: So be it.

He turns to Elton.

THE DOCTOR: Mind you, the others might have something to say.

VICTOR: Others?

URSULA: He's right. The Doctor's right. We can't let him. Oh, Mr Skinner... Bridget... Pull!


URSULA: For God's sake, pull!

VICTOR: No, don't, get off, get off!

The three of them strain outwards, stretching Victor apart.

URSULA: If it's the last thing we ever do, Bliss! All of us together! Come on! Pull!

Victor wails in pain and panic.

URSULA (CONT'D): LINDA united! Pull!

Victor drops his cane.

URSULA (CONT'D): Elton! The cane!

Elton picks it up.

URSULA (CONT'D): Break it!

Elton snaps the cane in half, and it emits a shower of blue sparks. The hands on the end open outwards, revealing a glowing light.

VICTOR: My cane! You stupid man... oh no!

He roars one final time, turns into liquid and falls into the pavement, gone.

ELTON: ... What did I do?

THE DOCTOR (looking at the bubbling remains of Victor): The cane created a limitation field. Now it's broken, he can't stopped. The absorber is being absorbed.

ELTON: By what?

THE DOCTOR: By the Earth.

Victor dissolves into the paving stones. For a fleeting moment, the shape of Ursula's face appears on one. He lunges towards her.

URSULA: Bye bye, Elton. Bye bye.

And she sinks back into the paving slab. A tear runs down Elton's cheek. Rose's anger has melted away.

ROSE: Who was she?

ELTON (tearful): That was Ursula.

Rose looks at him for a moment, and then goes to him and puts her arms around his shoulders as he weeps quietly.


Back to the video diary.

ELTON: And that's it. Almost. Because the Doctor still had more to say.


THE DOCTOR: You don't remember, do you?


ELTON: And then he explained. That night.


Elton sits between the Doctor and Rose on some steps, Rose's armed linked through his.

ELTON (CONT'D) (voice-over): All those years ago.

THE DOCTOR: There was a shadow in your house.


We return once again to young Elton's view from the top of the stairs in his childhood home, fade to the hallway and then to the living room.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D) (voice-over): A living shadow in the darkness. An elemental shade had escaped from the Howling Halls.

All those years ago, a troubled Doctor looks down at Elton.


THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): I stopped it, but... I wasn't in time to save her. (He looks Elton in the eyes). I'm sorry.


In the living room, the camera pans down from the Doctor to reveal a blonde woman lying dead on the floor.

ELTON (voice-over): Because that was the night my mother died.


Elton sighs, eyes closed.


Cut to old footage of Elton's mother doing the washing up, smiling in indignation at someone filming her, mouthing "stop it, go away! " good humouredly. She tries to hide her face and then resorts to flicking bubbles at whoever is filming, laughing.


Elton says nothing, hands clasped in front of him.


On the steps, Elton's lip trembles.


Elton is away from the camera, but we can see him sitting on his bed in the background, head bowed.


Cut to footage of Elton as a little boy, walking hand and hand with his mother in a park. She bends down and says something to him - then walks away, leaving him standing alone. She waves to him. Fade to white.


Elton's sitting in front of the camera again on the video diary, but not looking at it.

ELTON (quietly): We forget because we must.


Elton switches the camera on, it's now pointing at his computer desk. He settles himself in the chair.

ELTON: So, there you go. Turns out I've had the most terrible things happen. And the most brilliant things. And sometimes, well, I can't tell the difference. They're all the same thing. They're... they're just me. You know, Stephen King said once, he said... "salvation and damnation are the same thing". And I never knew what he meant. But I do now. (He thinks about this). 'Cos the Doctor might be wonderful, but thinking back... I was having such a special time. Just for a bit. I had this nice little gang.


Flashback to the basement, LINDA's band playing, having a thoroughly good time.


ELTON (CONT'D): And they were destroyed. It's not his fault. But maybe that's what happens if you touch the Doctor. Even for a second. I keep thinking of Rose and Jackie. And how much longer before they pay the price.

URSULA (out of view): Oh, now don't get all miserable. Come on, Elton. You've still got me.

ELTON: Oh yeah. 'Cos the Doctor said he could do one last thing with his magic wand...


The Doctor holds his sonic screwdriver to the paving slab into which Ursula dissolved.

THE DOCTOR: If I can key into the absorption matrix and separate the last victim... it's too late for total reconstruction, but...

He stands. Looks up, eyes wide.

THE DOCTOR (CONT'D): Elton! Fetch a spade!


ELTON: Even then, after all that... the Doctor saved me one last time.

He stands up and retrieves a paving slab which had been sitting on the desk just out of frame. He sits back down and sets it on his lap.

ELTON: Here she is.

URSULA: Could be worse.

Ursula's face is peering out of the paving slab.

URSULA (CONT'D): At least I'll never age. And it really is quite peaceful, you'd be surprised.

ELTON (to the camera): It's a relationship... of sorts... but we manage. We've even got a bit of a love life.

URSULA: Oh, let's not go into that.

ELTON: And I don't care what anyone thinks. I love her.

URSULA (smiling up at him): Ahh.

ELTON: But the thing is...

He picks up a remote control and points it at the camera - it zooms in and refocuses on his face.

ELTON (CONT'D): There we are... I've even bought a remote zoom. (He replaces the remote). But what I wanted to say is... you know, when you're a kid, they tell you it's all, grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that's it. (He shakes his head). Ah. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. (Pauses, smiles). And so much better.