Wednesday 27 April 2011

Celebrity Yacht Party, by Matthew Clarke (my fan fiction)

This is my first attempt at a Fifth Doctor story. It is set between Snakedance and Mawdryn Undead.

Isobel Watkins is one of those characters who comes across like she might have become a companion. I wanted to explore what happened to her after The Invasion. I am assuming here that The Invasion is set in 1979 and the UNIT era was from 1979-1985.

St.Tropez, 2002

Tegan stood on the deck looking down at her bare feet. The guests at the boat party had all been asked to remove their shoes to protect the precious decks. Tegan hated being without a decent pair of heels. She valued the extra height and the elegance it gave her stride. She felt like a five-year old when prancing around barefoot. It was all well dressing up in a glamorous cocktail dress, but without the stilettos, the outfit was incomplete in her opinion. Perhaps the millionaires on board were used to managing the combination, but to her it seemed downright weird.

Tegan looked at Nyssa. She looked equally uncomfortable. Nyssa was not one for dressing up. She had only just managed to wean herself off that hideous puffy-sleeved Elizabethan number. Nyssa seemed as awkward in the little black dress as Tegan was feeling without her high heels. Not that Nyssa seemed all that comfortable being shoeless either. Nyssa had seemed to enjoy that masked ball at Cranleigh Hall. Maybe that was more like the kind of parties they had on Traken. Here on a yacht full of millionaires and celebrities, it seemed like she might as well have been on a planet of giant ants and butterflies. 'Then again,' Tegan thought, 'Nyssa would probably like being on a planet full of giant insects. Plenty of nerdy stuff to poke.'

Tegan looked across the deck at her fellow guests. All of them were rich and most of them were famous, or so she was told. This was over fifteen years into her future. She had never heard of most of these celebrities. There was the odd film director or actor that she recognised, but they looked frighteningly old compared to how she remembered them. Not so long ago, she would have killed to be at a function like this, shoes on or off. After travelling in time and space with the Doctor, this little bash just seemed a bit of a let down. Most of the guests that she had spoken to seemed hopelessly narcissistic.

Tegan saw the Doctor tearing himself away from some aging rock star and help himself to another mineral water. She had hoped that the Doctor might make the effort to wear something stylish and classy for this party, but as ever he was wearing that ridiculous Edwardian cricket outfit he always wore. Shuffling along the deck in his socks, Tegan thought he looked even sillier than usual.

The Doctor warmly greeted a woman who padded towards them. She was in her early forties and attractive. Her hair was blonde and she had the tanned look of somebody who spent a lot of time in a warm climate. She wore a gorgeous blue dress and like everybody else on the boat, was barefoot.

"Oh, Doctor, the woman said, "Won't you introduce me to your dolly friends?" Tegan was a little unsettled by the woman's accent. She clearly came from a very upper-middle class English family, but she seemed to put on a very affected cockney accent and there was also the hint of an American twang.

"Ah yes," the Doctor replied. "This is Tegan and this is Nyssa. Tegan, Nyssa, this is our hostess, Isobel Watkins. She and I go back a long way."

"You must meet my dolly husband, Dmitri," Isobel said, directing them towards a tall man with thinning blonde hair. He wore sunglasses and his shirt was half open. He said nothing, but smiled. "Dmitri is very quiet," explained Isobel, "But he's absolutely loaded. He owns six newspapers, woud you believe? He also used to be a KGB agent. He could tell you some stories, but he'd have to kill you!" Dmitri smiled again, causing Tegan to shiver.

"What happened to Captain Turner?" the Doctor asked.

"My dolly soldier! I do miss him. We got divorced. He was dreadfully sweet, but there was no way it could have lasted. I was becoming a world-famous photographer and he was just an army officer. He wanted to retire to some country cottage. He wasn't interested in the lifestyle I wanted. I wanted an exciting life and I wanted money. I wasn't going to get those things with him. He did give me too dolly girls though. One of them has already starred in a movie; the other is studying in America."

Tegan felt that she was bound to slap Isobel if she used the word 'dolly' one more time. She was quite surprised that the Doctor had become friends with such a person as Isobel. She did not seem at all the sort of person she had imagined to be associated with the Doctor. She decided to bring this up. "So how did you meet the Doc?" Tegan asked Isobel.

"It's a long story," Isobel replied. "The Doctor knew a friend of my uncle. He came knocking on our door and I got mixed up in this frightfully exciting adventure involving these metal men called Cybermen. I helped him save the whole planet, would you believe? Along the way I met my dolly ex-husband. Not long after, the Doctor got stranded on earth for a while and I saw quite a lot of him. Once he got back to travelling the universe, he dropped in on me once or twice."

Nyssa joined in the conversation. "You seem to have made a good life for yourself, Isobel," she said.

"Thank you, darling," Isobel replied. "I went into magazine editing in the 1990s. I edited two fashion magazines and a celebrity gossip rag. I was doing well, even before I married my dolly Dmitri." She gave her husband a big hug. He smiled again.

Tegan managed to restrain herself.

Isobel helped herself to another glass of champagne. "You know, Doctor," she said, "You look quite lovely in this body, but you seem so much more shy. You were very cute as the little dark-haired man I first met, but I liked you best as that silver-haired chap with the big nose. Back when you were stuck on earth."

"Really?" asked the Doctor, taken aback by the personal nature of this conversation.

"Oh yes," Isobel continued. "When you had silver hair and a big nose, you were so much like me. You were into exactly the same lifestyle I wanted. You used to love the fast cars, the fine wine and the high fashion. You might have been a scientist, but you loved hanging around with the glamorous people. You just couldn't keep away from rock stars, actresses and film directors. You might have been working for a secretive security organisation, but I could always spot your pictures in the glossy magazines."

The Doctor looked very uncomfortable. "I had never thought about it like that. I suppose I'm just not the man I was," he said.

"You know what, Doctor. I met your last face and I've met the person you are going to become next. He's really.."

'Dolly?' thought Tegan to herself. The Doctor cut Isobel off straight away. "Don't tell me any more! There are some things I really shouldn't know."

"I have pictures of all your faces. I'm working on writing a biography of you when I get the chance. Obviously, I can't write about some of that top secret stuff with UNIT, but I'm sure I can find plenty of other stuff about you to write about," said Isobel.

"Oh no! I'd rather you didn't, Isobel. I prefer to keep a rather lower profile than that," said the Doctor,

"I'm surprised, Doctor. Your next version seemed very enthusiastic about the idea. Anyway, when I am done, I promise I shall show you before publishing it," replied Isobel.

"Thank you. I do appreciate that, Isobel."

After the conversation with Isobel was concluded, the Doctor did not wish to stay long. The yacht party, with its celebrity guests was not at all his scene and neither Tegan nor Nyssa wished to linger.

After they had retrieved their shoes and returned to the TARDIS, the Doctor sighed and looked at his two companions. "You know, when I first met Isobel, she did not seem quite such a shallow woman. I suppose she had a point that I used to have a certain liking for glamour myself at one time. I suppose we all change as we get older. Would you believe, if she hadn't fallen for Captain Turner, I might have invited Isobel to come and travel with me in the TARDIS. Can you imagine travelling through time and space with her?" he asked.

Tegan and Nyssa gave a resounding "No!"

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