A thousand years after his last visit to the planet Artaris, the Doctor returns. The city of Excelis has grown, spreading a vast Empire throughout the globe. Science and engineering have provided a new Age of Reason.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, and once again death follows the mysterious Relic through the halls of the Imperial Museum.
When the Doctor finds himself helping the Curator and the local authorities with the mystery, he finds himself crossing paths with a familiar face from Excelis' history - but no-one lives for a thousand years, do they?
When asked to pitch for one of the Excelis slots, I jumped at the chance for one simple reason - I had heard that Anthony Stewart Head, of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer fame, was being sought for the recuring guest villian role, and the chance to write for "Giles" was too good to pass up.
Knowing that the story had to be set a millenium after its predecessor, in an industial society, I wanted to try a sort of MR James does Steampunk kind of story, set in a psuedo Victorian London. Like, I imagine, many genre fans, I grew up on the 1970s Pan Books of Ghost Stories, and wanted to evoke that air here. Those familiar with such books may note that Reeve Maupassant in named after writer Guy de Maupassant, and Danby is named after Mary Danby, a frequent ghost-anthology editor.
If I've one regret about this story it's that, being a single CD release, there's no cliffhanger, and to me cliffhangers are a vital piece of Doctor Who. So, halfway through, there is a cliffhanger point where you can pause and sing "diddly dum" to yourself - you'll know it when you hear the big scream!
I know that I'm thrilled at the prospect of hearing actors actually perform a play wot I wrote - especially these actors - and I hope you'll enjoy it too.
David A McIntee, January 2002