A Timely Intervention (A Doctor Who Adventure)

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“I’m off now Dani. You need a lift?”

Dani Thomas looked up at her colleague from the nurses’ station.

“No thanks Bev, I’ve got shopping to do tonight. I’ll be bussing it. Anyway, I just want to check on Josh Smith in Cubicle 2, I wasn’t that impressed with his resp rate before.”

“Oh, his parents are at the caf’. Should be back soon. I’ll see you tomorrow - you’re on the late right?”

“Yeah, see ya then.” Dani turned and made her way to the cubicle where the infant boy who had only a few hours beforehand been admitted from the Emergency Department lay in his cot. Smiling, she thought on how she loved this job. New to the ward, 22 year-old fresh-faced Dani thought she had chosen the right career. Caring for sick children, nursing. Making a difference.

Squirting some alcohol gel onto her hands, she absentmindedly brushed some of her stray black hair from her face as she looked in on her patient. She noticed his breathing was becoming laboured, and a moment later the sats machine started alarming - its readings dropping quickly from 94%, through 90 to 81, 78, 63...

She soon yelled out, “Can I get some help in here now please!”

Josh was struggling to breathe, and she didn’t know where to begin. Her training was supposed to have prepared her for this, but nerves were getting the better of her. In a flap she reached out for the emergency buzzer, but before she could press it a strong hand closed around her own.

“I don’t think you’ll be needing that.”

“Who’re you?” she snapped. “A doctor?”

The tall, curly haired man grinned broadly, his teeth almost glowing. As he leant over Josh he calmly responded,

“Indeed. Do me a favour and turn that nasty machine off. I’m not fond of alarms.”

Confused, Dani silenced the beeping, then glanced back to the child. His colour was improving and his breathing much better. Even the oxygen saturation machine at his cotside was reading 97%. But how could it be?

“What did you do? He was going into respiratory arrest! How could you? I don’t understand...”

“Ahhh. Yes, well I wouldn’t presume to not understand myself, but then all I did was perform an old trick I learnt from a Crytaxian medic. Excuse me, I think I should be some when else.”

And with that the man turned quickly on his heel and stepped from the cubicle, a ridiculously long striped scarf flowing in his wake.

Dani shook her head. She glanced at Josh, who seemed perfectly happy, cooing and gurgling and in no distress whatsoever. She rechecked all his vitals quickly, and then chased after the new doctor.

“Hey! You! Doctor!”


“What just happened then? What did you do? He was...I mean...”

“Sorry, I’m looking for a friend and the TARDIS has led me astray again. I don’t think I have time for this.” Planting an old battered hat on his head, hiding the shock of tight curls, he pushed through the ward doors and strode off down the corridor.

“Hang on!” shouted Dani. She ran quickly after him, jogging along to keep up with his much longer paces. “You can’t just waltz in here and...I dunno, fix my patient like that without telling me what you did! Or even who you are!”

The man stopped abruptly. He looked down at Dani from under the brim of his hat, his eyes hard. She shrunk a little, and as he pushed his hands into his pocket she wasn’t sure whether it was a good time to run. Then his eyes looked bright and he pushed a crumpled white paper bag at her.

“Jelly baby? They break the ice, don’t you think? Shall we walk?”

Astonished, Dani dipped her fingers into the bag, taking a sweet as they continued along the corridor.

“Dani isn’t it?”

“Uh, yeah. How did you...”

“Name tag, just there.” He pushed at her tunic, a little roughly for her liking. “I think you’ll find I already answered your questions.”

“Uh? Um...”

“I’m the Doctor. Trick from a Crytaxian. Heard you shout, and I tend to do that kind of thing when I’m asked.”


“Help. But I shouldn’t be here, because she isn’t. So, I’ll be off now.”

They had stopped at the end of the corridor in front of a large blue thing. Dani recognised it from somewhere. She was sure she’d seen one in London a while back. Earl’s Court. A police box? She definitely didn’t recall there being one on the back corridor on the way to x-ray though. The Doctor opened the door and stepped inside, slamming it after him. The blue light atop the box started to flash and a strange breeze began to blow all around the stunned nurse, accompanied by an eerie noise, and then the old police box began to vanish from sight.

Suddenly it re-materialised, the door opened and a hand grabbed Dani’s own and she was pulled inside. The Doctor left her standing by a hat-rack in the corner as he rushed to the centre of a quite large room that Dani felt shouldn’t really be as big as it was. Or perhaps should have felt smaller than it looked. She shook her head in amazement. The deep voice of her erstwhile kidnapper carried across to her,

“I didn’t think we’d finished our conversation.”

The Doctor was moving around a strange sort of hexagonal shaped machine with what looked like a glowing cylinder in the middle. He was pressing at buttons and twiddling with levers and looking at the cylinder, which on closer inspection seemed to be moving up and down. The stark white walls reminded Dani of the clinical feeling of the hospital, but it smelt entirely different. Old, but not musty. The Doctor was still talking,

“Sorry to bundle you in, but I needed to know when that just was. I’m assuming it was Earth and you are human, yes?”

“Um, yes. Hang about. What?! What’s happening?”

The Doctor continued to check the machine, then brought out what looked like a large pen-torch from his pocket, there was a buzzing sound and the lights on the machine flickered then lit up in a sequence that appeared to please him.

“You’re on board the TARDIS. I’ll drop you back as soon as I can, I’m just having trouble locating her.”

Dani sat heavily on the floor. She pushed her hands through her hair and rubbed her eyes.

“I - don’t - tardist? Her? Look, sorry, all I wanted to know was what you did to my patient, doctor.”

“It’s TARDIS. Stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.” The Doctor glanced over at Dani. “And what time was it?”

Dani looked at her watch, “Just gone three in the afternoon. Wait! What exactly is going on?”

The Doctor pursed his lips, “Dani, concentrate. What year was it? I need to know if I was close.”

Dani frowned. She was used to rude, arrogant doctors, but this was just a bit too much. She answered him with venom in her voice, “It’s 2007. And who’s this her you keep going on about? And why do I get the impression we’re going somewhere?”

The Doctor answered, but in short sentences, his attention elsewhere,
“Sarah Jane. It was too much of a hurry. The TARDIS seems to be getting more lost. Something must have happened on Gallifrey...”

Dani gave up. This Doctor was obviously too rapt up in whatever else was happening to pay her any attention. She stood slowly and wandered around. She reached out for a button on the wall and, “DON’T touch that!” was shouted across the room.

The Doctor had now shed his long jacket and scarf and hung them on the hat-rack, along with the hat. His hair was bouncing in time to his dancing around the console and with sleeves rolled up and a wild expression on his face, the Doctor was sweating – his eyes bulging with excitement.

“Nearly there! Just about. Trajectory looks good....aah...HAH! There!” He pushed quickly at a button, briefly looked over at Dani and grinned a toothy grin. “We’re here!” The Doctor was pulling on his coat as Dani wondered what the next moment was going to bring.

“Are you going to stay here? I’m just popping out for a moment, should be back as soon as I’ve collected her.”

“Um, I’d rather come with you actually. Might answer some questions. Maybe. Although I seriously doubt it.” She frowned at him then, and a look of apology crossed his features.

“Ah, yes. Well. Right then. Onwards and upwards!” They stepped out of the TARDIS together.

A bullet went whining past Dani’s ear a fraction of a second later, and the Doctor hurriedly pushed her back inside.

“What the -” Dani was cut off by the sound of another bullet clipping the door of the TARDIS as it was pulled to.

“Dear me. It seems the old girl has done something untoward. Just let me check outside again.”

“Doctor! No, it’s too dangerous!” Dani’s instincts for safety kicked in as she tried to grab at his scarf, but he was already peeping out the door. Another clang and he was quickly inside again.

“Soldiers? Strange...”

Dani started shouting, “REALLY?! What with all those bullets and guns and things I’d never have guessed! What have you done? Where are we? How did we get here?! Doctor, please!”

“It’s a long story.”

“Well make it short!!”

“You are in a ship that travels through time and space. It’s mine, so I’m a time and space traveller. And I’m looking for a friend. I found you, and it appears we’ve ended up in the wrong place. And now it seems a regiment of...I’d say, judging from their uniforms and silly hats, Napoleon’s finest are shooting at us. Why, I’m not altogether sure. Although, it may have something to do with a submarine.”

Dani nodded, “Okay. Um, can I go home now?”

The Doctor looked at Dani.

“Probably not. Shall we find somewhere to hide?”

“What’s wrong with in here?”

“Well, nothing I suppose, but where’s the fun in that? Hmm?” The Doctor raised his eyebrows and smirked.

The Doctor and Dani ran from the TARDIS amidst a hail of gunfire and smoke towards a hard rocky outcrop that they were soon sharing with a young man in a wearing a dirty red jacket, tall black hat and carrying a rifle. The Doctor stuck out his hand,

“Hullo there!”

The soldier stared at the Doctor in amazement.

“What the bloody hell you doing here sir? It’s the middle of a bleedin’ battle!”

“Well, my friend and I are a little lost. Aren’t we?” He turned to Dani, who could only nod in agreement. “Wrong turn at Alberquerque I believe.”

“Not sure of that sir, but Spain is all the same to me. This here is Vitoria and we’re taking the place from the Frenchies. Can’t say I know your uniform miss, but Boney’s boys wear blue, so you’re wont to get shot at if you’re not too careful!” At this, a bullet ricocheted off the rocks nearby.

The Doctor gave Dani his long coat. “Here, put this on. And don’t fiddle with what’s in the pockets, it might bite.” He then wrapped his scarf around her waist and plonked his hat upon her head. “Charming.” He then asked the soldier,

“Who is it advancing?”

“The Duke sir, he’s got ‘em on the run he ‘as!”

“Dani, stay here. Do not move.” The Doctor edged away from the rocks talking in whispers to the red-coated soldier. Dani couldn’t believe it. This man, he’d only just met her, taken her back in time to god only knows when and now abandoned her to go off and fight in some battle! What if he dies? Doesn’t he care? Another bullet cracked nearby, and Dani huddled tighter into the rocks. She closed her eyes and wished she were somewhere else.

When the noise of the battle waned, and the sounds carried off further into the distance, Dani peered out cautiously over the rocks. She spotted the Doctor nearby, kneeling beside a fallen soldier, and he beckoned her to come out. The scene before her was horrific. Bodies lay sprawled all over the dry ground, a few moving, many not. There were loud screams from some, silence from most. Dani felt sick, but the Doctor seemed nonchalant. The soldier he was by was the man who had joined them behind the rocks earlier. He was dead.

“Time to go.”

Dani looked at the dead soldier, fighting back tears.

“Doctor, it’s...”

But the Doctor was moving on. Dani stepped nimbly over the body of a young lad, his leg bleeding heavily from a bullet wound. She stopped chasing after the Doctor and paused.

“Doctor! This one’s alive!”

The Doctor glanced back at Dani.

“Probably not for long. Leave him.”

Dani scowled. “I can’t do nothing.” She said this more to herself than to the Doctor, who was already forging his way ahead. He shouted into the wind,

“I said, LEAVE HIM.”

Dani ignored the words,

“What’s your name?” Dani asked the wounded soldier.

“Smith, miss. 51st Foot, King’s Own.”

Dani ripped some fabric from a nearby jacket and fashioned a makeshift bandage, pulling it around the man’s leg.

“That should help stop the bleeding. Keep your hand on the wound. Press hard.” Dani put her hand over the soldier’s own, “There, that’s it, like that.”

“Thank you. You’re an angel. A true angel.”

“I think you may be right Smith. Make sure you get yourself home boy, you’ve a family to raise.” The Doctor stood over them both, frowning. Dani looked up at him.


“Funny old thing the TARDIS. Mind of her own, mind of her own. Come along don’t dawdle, the rest of the British Army will be here shortly, and the last thing I want to do is discuss muddy puddles with Wellesley.”

A few moments later, Dani stepped from the TARDIS doors to be greeted with the smell of too strong disinfectant. The Doctor poked his face out at her,

“Not too bumpy a ride?”

Dani cocked her head to one side,

“Doctor, you’ve changed my life. Probably not for the better, but hey, it was fun. In a life-threatening-I nearly got killed-I really hate you kind of way.”

“Aaah. I won’t invite you in for tea then. Cheerio!”

The door to the TARDIS shut and soon a familiar noise echoed along the corridor. Dani closed her eyes and when she opened them, the sign to x-ray was now visible. She waited just a moment, half expecting the police box to reappear. She often thought a flashing blue light meant a busy time for the gang in the Emergency Department, but now...it was something entirely different. It was then she smiled,

“I hope you find what you’re looking for Doctor. I’ve got a bus to catch.”

Note – This story is set between the Doctor Who Adventures ‘The Deadly Assassin’ and ‘Face of Evil’, when the Fourth Doctor was travelling alone.

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