The Get-together

pubsnowThe dying days of 2005.  A strikingly handsome Englishman in his late 20s was sat at his computer, editing a page for his website in HTML.  Well, everything else made a mess of the code, and with half the hits on the site from people who were still using dialup it was worth the effort for clean code.  The banner on the site said “The Doctor Who Review”.  There was an untidy URL from one of those free hosting sites.  Most good addresses with “Who Review” in the title were not available, which had puzzled the Englishman, until he realised that “whoreview” also spelt out “Whore View”.

The page that needed editing today was about The Christmas Invasion, the Doctor Who Christmas special that the Englishman had watched a few days ago.  There were some comments to add, which had come in by email.

Aha, our good old Canadian commenter as usual, but what was this?  Another comment, from an American.  A BIG comment too!  This guy really had plenty to say.  OK, let’s get to work.  And then an email back to say thanks to them both.

Summer 2017.  An Englishman was sat typing at his laptop, sending an email.  He was still strikingly handsome, despite pushing on towards 40.  The Englishman had an idea.

“The Doctor Who Review” was long gone.  It had become a burden, with all that writing HTML, so he had taken it off the net.  But, slow to the party, the Englishman had discovered the joys of blog writing.  Maybe it was time for “The Doctor Who Review” to return.  He emailed his great friends, who he had never stopped corresponding with, the Canadian and the American.  What did they think?

Oh boy, what did they think?!

“The View from the Junkyard” was born.

The far future.  Twilight years.  A snowy winter’s day.  The Englishman is a handsome, silver fox.  He is dictating a communication to his holographic communications assistant.  Two recipients: the American and the Canadian.

He really should have got around to meeting up with them both.  But he never did like those long haul flights.  On a few joyous days the American had travelled over to Britain and they had met up from time to time, only occasionally.  Their first meeting was at the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff.  Those were the days, before the tourists all left the Bay.

But what the Englishman had always wanted to do was just have a drink together with the American and the Canadian, those three old friends together in the same room.  He had never met the Canadian face to face.  There was holographic communication, but that was never quite the same.  It was a source of some sadness for the Englishman, but nobody had the will to travel long distances any more.  He had left it all too late.  Curse that pond between them all!  The Englishman felt tired.

The wind was picking up outside.  Something felt… different.  A sound, from the street outside.  That unmistakable sound.

Now the Englishman knew what had happened.  Old age had finally got the better of him and he was going senile.  He had just heard the TARDIS landing.

Leaning on the desk to help himself up, he looked out of the window.  In the snow outside, there it was… the TARDIS.  Time to wake up now.  A pinch.  No.  It was still there.

The Englishman went over to the door, picked up his walking stick, and went outside.  The cold air hit him, but there was no time to put on a coat.  So what if it was a hallucination or a dream or madness!  He was going to walk out into the snow and see the TARDIS even if he froze in the process.

A man stood at the open TARDIS doors.  The Nth Doctor.  The numbering system had got messed up a couple of times, so nobody was quite sure what number we were on at this point.  It all started at the 50th, so long ago.  There had been a LOT of debates about it.

“You’re not real,” said the Englishman.  “You don’t exist.”

“Just as time should be considered the fourth dimension, so space should be the fifth dimension, for space knows no boundaries and is timeless.”

The Englishman laughed.

“The first words of a hallucination of the Doctor, and he quotes Cushing.”

“What can I say,” said the Nth, “I love a bit of technobabble.  You’ve written about that often enough over the years.  You should know.  But you need to take notice of what your good Canadian friend always says.  There is a multiverse of possibilities.  Everything exists somewhere.  It’s just not often that people get to cross over.”

“And why me?”

“You’re late for an appointment.  Step inside.”

The year 5.5/apricot/63.  New New New New (etc) New Earth.  A perfect replica of an English country pub, on a winter’s evening, with the fire crackling in the hearth.  Sturdy old oak tables and chairs.

In the corner sits three old men, a Canadian, an American, and a ruggedly handsome old Englishman.  They have never been all together in the same room before, but it feels like a reunion of old friends.  The American proposes a toast, and they raise their glasses.

To Doctor Who.

And to friendship.

RP