Wednesday 4 May 2011

Dr. Who in Fairyland, by Matthew Clarke (my fan fiction)

I wanted to capture something of the whimsical nature of the First Doctor TV Comic adventures, yet also to tie it to later Doctor Who concepts.

These fairies are not scary, freaky fairies like you might find in a Neil Gaiman book. They are old-fashioned, Victorian-style cute fairies.

Meeting Santa Claus and the Pied Piper was one thing, but being in Fairyland was definitely another.

Fairyland was another universe altogether, with quite different properties from the one the TARDIS was used to. It was quite remarkable that the ship had been able to enter it at all.

Being in Fairyland felt very different from being on an alien planet; something seemed quite wrong with everything; as though the visible world was a highly stylised painting rather than the real world. John and Gillian could see colours that they could not describe in words. The proportions of the place seemed wrong. The trees seemed to be of normal height, but they grew next to enormous flowers and colossal toadstools. It seemed to be night, for the sky was full of stars, yet they seemed so bright that it might as well have been day.

Dr. Who and his two grandchildren were seated inside the Grand Palace of Fairyland; though inside seemed a meaningless concept. The palace subverted the normal concepts of indoors and outdoors. It was made up of pillars, canopies, marquees and walkways that seemed to intersect with the trees of the forest themselves and open out into the starlit air. At times they seemed to be 'inside' and at other times 'outside.'

Gillian had once owned a copy of Cicely Mary Baker's 'Flower Fairies of the Garden.' She could not help being reminded of it when she looked at the creatures who surrounded her. They had massive butterfly (or in some cases, moth-like wings). Their skin was pale, almost slightly transparent. Their faces were pretty and they had long, pointed ears. Perhaps their most disconcerting feature was the insectoid antenna that sprouted from their heads. All of them had long silvery hair. They wore long tunics of a silky material. Some of them decorated themselves with silver jewellery, others with flowers or even lengths of cobweb. All of them were barefoot. At times they walked upon the palace/forest ground, at other times they flew about on their insectoid wings. John and Gillian found it impossible to tell which of the Fairies were male and which were female.

"I had never realised that fairies existed!" exclaimed John.

His grandfather shouted at him, "Stop it! Do you realised every time you say that a fairy dies!"

Gillian was horrified. "Oh no, Grandfather," she cried. "That's terrible!"

Dr. Who chuckled. "I was only joking my dear child. Fairies don't exist? Hmmm. Well, you know better now."

The Fairies prepared for the three travellers a quite remarkable feast. John and Gillian were quite unable to identify what most of the dishes were, barring the odd plate of fish or fruit. Their grandfather suggested to them that it might be best not to enquire too deeply into what was on the plates. He neglected to mention that the over sized insects of Fairyland were a massive part of the Fairy diet.

While they were being served, Dr. Who took the opportunity to give his two grandchildren a lesson in cosmology. He explained to them about the six-fold realm of time and space, of Ur-space, the sea in which the multitude of universes floated and of the mysterious Guardians, the celestial powers that governed the multiverse. He explained that Fairyland was a pocket universe, a separate dimension which intersected with their universe. He pointed out that their was another pocket universe from which unimaginably horrifying beings had come, creatures that had been vanquished by the Time Lords a long time ago.

Dr. Who noticed that the assembled lords and ladies of Fairyland seemed as fascinated by his lecture as his grandchildren were. He continued, explaining how the Time Lords had fought against forces of chaos when the universe was young, destroying some of them and banishing others. The universe had been re-ordered by the Time Lords and history directed along the lines of reason demanded by their great hero, Rassilon. Rassilon had reached an agreement with the Fairies, allowing them a limited ability to interact with the normal universe on condition that they resided in Fairyland and stayed there for the most part.

The conversation soon shifted to lighter topics, such as hunts and flowers and stars. John and Gillian enquired about the animals that lived in Fairyland, and were fascinated to learn about dragons, unicorns and giant butterflies.

The meal was followed by much music and dancing, with the Fairies singing and playing on instruments that resembled harps. The TARDIS crew were invited to join in their dances, though this proved difficult, as the Fairies involved flight in their dancing.

During the festivities, the Fairy King (he looked as beautiful as his queen) took Dr. Who to one side to talk in serious matters.

"Doctor, we have accepted the Time Lords dominance of your universe for a long time, but we grow weary of it. We have watched as the Time Lords have allowed great evils to go unchecked throughout the cosmos. There are many among the Elder Folk who feel that it is time that we tore up our treaty with Rassilon. There are voices in Fairyland that are calling for war against the Time Lords," said the Fairy King.

"A War in Heaven, what a terrifying thought," replied the Doctor. "I don't mind admitting that the thought makes me very afraid."

"You Time Lords travel in time, to us time is meaningless. If war comes between ourselves and the Time Lords, it will be a time war, perhaps a war that will end your very notion of time," said the Fairy King.

"Maybe so, maybe so," replied Dr. Who. "I don't doubt that you people have terrible powers. Nevertheless, I would be careful you don't go thinking that you would win a war in heaven. I fear that the Time Lords have it in them tear Fairyland apart if it came to that."

"Let it be hoped that it does not come to that," said the Fairy King. "Perhaps you can warn the Time Lords that the eyes of the Elder Ones are upon them. We will not suffer their misrule forever."

It was soon time for the TARDIS crew to take their leave of Fairyland and to return to the normal universe. They were given rich gifts, some of the strange food and bottles of equally strange wine. John was given a sword made of some silvery metal and Gillian was given a bow and arrows made of the same stuff. Both of them were given the silky tunics that the Fairies wore, though John did not seem as enthusiastic about this gift as Gillian.

"We hope that one day you will return," said the Fairy Queen. "There is much that we could learn from your race." The Fairy King looked sadly at her as she said this.

After the TARDIS dematerialised, Dr. Who pondered on the solemn warnings the Fairy King had given him. Would the Fairies really go to war with the Time Lords? He knew that despite their benign appearance, the Fairies had terrifying military capabilities. If they had fought against Rassilon in the Eternal War, it was not certain who would have prevailed. Were the Fairies really prepared to unleash a four-dimensional war on the cosmos?


  1. Hi, Matthew

    Great stuff as always. Thanks for continuing to link to my blog. Just to let you know that it's URL has no changed to