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Building a Better Kind of Box

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In the end, it had been Susan that had helped bring the idea into reality. For as long as he could remember, the idea had been there. The ship, a small unassuming thing containing oh so much wonder…but how to get it in there. Dimensional Transcendence was a fine idea, but a difficult one to bring into reality, a difficult one to even picture really.  

When Barbara and Susan’s parents had died he had taken it as a sign to abandon his work, the girls had needed him, Barbara was barely a child herself when it had happened. In the quiet grief-tinged atmosphere he was all too familiar with, Dr. Who left his box to rot away in the corner of his garden, another excentric curiosity among many.  Magister had appeared one day, dark eyes poking above the fence asking what it was, Who had told him it was nothing important and flung an apple core at him sending him scurrying away with promises of a no-doubt terrible revenge.

That had been the last time he’d thought about it for many years, raising the girls was more important and watching them grow up was as rewarding as any scientific endeavour. He never stopped inventing though, his neighbours could tell you that much; Their homes littered with devices and tools that made their lives that little bit easier, his granddaughters offered a comfortable life by the patents he sold, squirrelling away a decent living sum and giving the rest to charity. He watched as Barbra became a capable young woman and Susan grew into a young girl whose formidable intelligence outpaced his own. He could have spent his life like that, never giving his magnificent box another thought. It was a good life despite the tragedies that had shaped it.

One day he returned home, arms laden with the weeks shopping, and found Susan pouring over his old notes, the building blocks that had been a favourite toy for some time laid out from the largest to the smallest on the table beside her. He asked what she was doing, and in her usual, kindly way she had explained that she had realised how to make his idea a reality. The problem, so she said, was that he had considered it in purely theoretical terms; Treating dimensional transcendence as something that had to be invented, and not something that already existed in one form or another.

The Doctor understood the basic idea but struggled to think of an example. His granddaughter smiled and directed him to a position a few steps behind the table. He could still see the cubes, largest at the back, smallest at the front. 'Kneel down' she said, he did, the larger boxes vanishing from sight, hidden behind the smallest. 'You see grandfather, it’s all a matter of perspective.'

They set to work immediately, buying material, borrowing equipment and recovering what progress he had made previously. The work was hard, but the ship slowly began to take shape. Barbara, a keen intellect in her own right, helped when she could, but was preoccupied with other no less important matters. There were setbacks of course, crafting the interior often resulting in them losing hours of time in the space of minutes. One day the Doctor emerged from the ship only to find his hair had finally turned grey, a few tests confirming that he had apparently aged five years across the space of a morning’s work. There were other issues as well, the few neighbours who didn’t care for the family’s eccentricities putting in a number of complaints to the council. Luckily the local policeman was an affable sort, and after a rudimentary check of the garden laughed the whole thing off and never paid the Who’s a second thought.

Victor Magister returned, accompanied by a gaggle of self-described followers who attempted to force their way into the garden, demanding to see what the Doctor was building. Barbara had chased them off with a broom, Magister once again swearing bloody vengeance on the family. Eventually, in the now finished console room Dr. Who watched as Susan welded the last few wires together. Their work was done, Tardis was complete and only one question remained; Where will we go? Ultimately the choice was taken out of their hands when Barbara’s boyfriend, a bumbling but stalwart lad by the name of Chesterton, had plunged them into an exciting adventure on the far-off world of Skaro. There they met what would come to be the Doctor’s greatest foes, The Daleks; A race of mutated monsters, literal tin-pot dictators in deadly metallic travel machines. The group had helped the kindly Thals defeat them, freeing Skaro from their oppressive control, giving the world a new, brighter future.

From there, they had oh so many adventures; Ancient Rome, Oldark House, Quinnis in the fourth universe. Eventually, Barbara and Ian opted to return home, The Doctor’s niece Louise taking their place in the Tardis; Traveling to earth in the 22nd century, Mars, the Moon and stranger places still. Victor Magister’s long-promised revenge came during a brief return to the present day, the trio finding themselves drawn to the remote town of Devil’s End where he attempted to use Tardis in a mad bid to resurrect a long-dead alien force beneath the quiet town. With the aid of Olive Hawthorne and her coven of so-called white witches, they foiled Magister’s scheme, the deranged madman opting to throw himself into the temporal maelström he had conjured up rather than accept the Doctor’s help.

Following these events, Susan and Louise chose to leave; Susan opting to focus on her studies in a bid to acquire her own doctorate before her 17th birthday, while Louise decided to travel the globe with Jo Grant, a recent member of Hawthorne’s group. For a while Dr. Who found himself travelling alone, however, a disastrous series of events saw him trapped in the 19th century; attempting to find the necessary elements to restore Tardis at the earth’s core before foiling an attempt by the now hideously burnt Magister to assassinate President Ulysses S. Grant. Eventually returning to the present day with the help of the enigmatic Iris Wildthyme and her perpetually amnesic companion.

After this, he always brought family with him; grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. Susan joined him for a few adventures when she could find the time, and his own brother eventually took up his offer for a few brief trips. A decade long gulf between the two evaporating as they fought to save a collection of the galaxies greatest treasures from the Daleks and their traitorous human allies. At one point he met his own descendants, a refugee from the 42nd century piloting a futuristic Tardis alongside his cybernetically enhanced granddaughter Zoe and a young Jacobite by the name of McCrimmon.

Old age crept up on him suddenly, the weight of his years catching up with him during a terrifying encounter with the Cybermen. Opting to retire from the adventuring lifestyle, he turned ownership of Tardis over to Susan, now a Doctor in her own right. However, the two experienced one last adventure when the Silver Guardian brought them together with a multitude of other Doctors in a bid to save a dying multiverse. It was as a grand a send-off as he could imagine. When his time finally came he hoped to be buried on the outskirts of New Kaalann, the capital city of the Kaleds.

Until then he was content to sit and enjoy tales of his granddaughter's exploits.