Tempus Effrego is the seventh episode of the first Common Series.
"The universe is doomed. Drastic steps must be made to ensure its safety!" - Mavetiel
In the far future, a deluded group of powerful beings hope to 'save' the whole of reality in the only way they see as possible - by freezing every moment in time and space forever as it is.
A massive, planet-sized space station, full of strange pods that hold countless aliens inside. A smiling clerk is giving out tickets and shows them to their pods which have the same number as the ticket. She says to one person, with a scarf covering half his face that the pods are now full for the next six months and the station will be closing for the public now. The person merely says that it isn't here for the pods, and phases through her like he was a ghost. He then flipped a switch that shut off the entrance, and when the clerk tried to stop him, he pressed two of his fingers on her neck and she instantly falls to the ground dead. The man removes his scarf and reveals his face - which has no mouth. Surprisingly, he is still able to speak and seems to speak to people not in the room, asking if the entrances are all shut off. Another voice confirms that they are and the mouthless man commands them to meet him. Three other mouthless men appear and the first one removes his large coat to reveal angelic wings, and the other three do the same. The other three bow to the first winged creature and he says that the first part of their plan is complete. They must now deadlock all pods and commence with the second part.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor says to Amy and Rory that they should stop off to this place called 'Jahsuhzurremi', a planet-sized oasis in the middle of the 'Bliss System'. As a day off from all of these tiring trips they've been on recently. The Doctor stares at the monitor in concern, saying that the Bliss System is closed off. Amy says that it must just be 'closed', as they've been to many 'leisure planets' and they are normally just shut for the season or something. The Doctor quickly notes that the Bliss System holds up to 30 of the most luxurious and widely-visited leisure planets in the galaxy, if one was 'closed' then it would be normal - but the whole system is shut down. Rory says that something must be wrong on one of the planetsand they just had to close off everything to check it out. The Doctor says that only one planet should be shut - the Kuhrahcommzeka. Amy says that that planet may have 'maintenance staff' or something to keep it in check, maybe they'll know. The Doctor agrees and heads the TARDIS to the largest of the planets.
The TARDIS materialises in a large circular room, with only one door and pods going as far as the three of them could see. The Doctor explains that the Kuhrahcommzeka is a huge virtual reality game that plugs in trillions of the richest creatures in the Universe to spend days or even centuries in their own perfect worlds - using fairly basic temporal manipulation technology in each pod to keep everyone at the same age as time passes by. Rory says that they all must be lonely to spend so much time away from reality and never have to deal with age or loss until they wake up, and staying for years in their own bubbles becasue they are too scared to face up to it. Amy looks up at them, agreeing with him and even adds that it is true that money can buy happiness - just not forever. The Doctor tells them that they should probably be looking for the workers now and they head out the exit, not noticing that they were being watched by one of the mouthless, winged creatures. It flies up and disappears into the lights of the ceiling.
The Doctor sees a directory in the middle of a corridor, also full of pods in the walls. He sees that there are red lights that indicate life readings outside of the pods. He sees that there are four other readings besides theirs, up at the top of the planet. They all head into an elevator and head for 'Level 0'. When they arrive, they see that the temporal manipulator's core generator resides in this level, which is a huge machine full of pipes, turbines and a giant 'mini-black hole' in the centre kept in stasis. The Doctor mentions that by this time, the Time Lords methods of time travel were still ingenious but were now capable of some duplication, with the right funding. Rory catches sight of the winged creature that was watching them before and alerts the Doctor and Amy. When they see it, it flies away quickly. The three of them give chase and see that it entered the control room, within the top generator keeping the black hole in stasis. They use a lift to make their way up and see that the creature had locked it tight.
The Doctor sonics the lock and it opens, revealing the quartet of winged creatures, controlling the massive control room and seem to be cannibalising the technology to serve some other crude purpose. The leader of the winged creatures demands they identify themselves. The Doctor says that he is a Time Lord. This causes them all to seem shocked. The leader refers to himself as Mavetiel, leader of this faction of Serakym. The Doctor mentions that the Serakym were thought to have never ever passed into a solid realm of existence, merely keeping to their home between several other dimensions - the Veil. Mavetiel says that they have had to pass into a universe because they are trying to save creation. Amy asks what is threatening it. One of the other Serakym, Terufel says that something is planning on destroying everything and they ahve found a way to prevent it. The Doctor seems a bit worried and asks what they had in mind. Mavetiel reveals that they have gone through much planning and have even looked to see what the future of creation may hold as a result. Every plan comes with the same result - failure and destruction. So they decided on having to do something that is regrettably terrible but for the 'greater good'. He then says that they have recalibrated the temporal stasis generators in the Kuhrahcommzeka, which is one of the most sophisticated and powerful in the Universe and remake it into a 'Chronon Detonator'.
The Doctor is shocked at this revelation. Rory asks what a Chronon Detonator is. The Doctor reveals that it is an explosive that uses time energy as dynamite and can freeze time in a large enough location. A Chronon Detonator the size of a golf ball could freeze the entire universe in one place in time for eternity. A Chronon Detonator the size of a planet would freeze all of creation into place and keep it like that forever - time would never exist, life would remain stationary, everything would stop. Mavetiel says that using the timelines of the trillions of people within the Kuhrahcommzeka would successfully create a Detonator large enough to ensure creation's 'safety'. The Doctor calls them insane and says that they could not possibly think this is benefitial. Mavetiel says that there is no other way, even when the Doctor assures him that there must be another way. Mavetiel says that he is bored of the three of them and has the Serakym that was following them, Shotiel, attack them. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to create a peircing noise which causes Shotiel to writhe on the floor in pain. This gives the three of them enough time to get on the lift and make their way down before Shotiel gives chase again.
As they were running, Shotiel yelled out that they should never question Mavetiel, as his word is the truth. The Doctor shouts back that Mavetiel has given up hope and he is going to end all life in existence if he carries on with what he is doing. One of the other Serakym, Etziel, was listening into their words through Shotiel and visibly displays doubt when he hears that Shotiel says that Mavetiel is right. Terufel asks f he is alright and Etziel nods and returns to work. The Doctor, Amy and Rory hide in a room, and Shotiel flies past without noticing. The Doctor says that Serakym are still connected to the Ceil and it takes incredible will to become corporeal like that so quickly. He says that Shotiel and the others must be using some form of 'dimensional adhesive' to keep them from phasing back into the Veil. The Doctor says that if they get back to the TARDIS, he can get something to send them back. The Doctor then laments that he has forgotten where the TARDIS is, but Rory nudges him and points across the room and shows the TARDIS. The Doctor smiles and tells them all to get inside quickly before Shotiel learns he's been duped.
In the TARDIS, the Doctor rummages through boxes all over the TARDIS and says that they need to be looking for a large silver gun with a yellow orb at the end. As he explains that it is a 'Dimensional Displacer', which sends 'foreign objects' (objects or creatures from a different universe) to their own universe, Amy sees that the type of gun that the Doctor is reffering to is right there on the console and picks it up. The Doctor not noticing that it is right there, keeps explaining that he has been searching for it for decades and has never known where he put it. He then realises that Amy is hlding it right in front of him and shows visible embarrasment. Suddenly, Shotiel bursts through the doors and Amy hurridly shoots at him with the gun and the yellow orb sends out a bolt of yellow energy and throws Shotiel backwards and he then vanishes, screaming. The other Serakym scream, like they also felt Shotiel's pain. Mavetiel says that the Time Lord must have found out how to send them back to the Veil and asks Terufel if the Detonator is almost ready. Terufel lazily responds that it should be ready in about a few more minutes. Etziel then tries to tell Mavetiel that he is having doubts about this mission and says that if they just listened to the Doctor, maybe they can see a different way to save the Universe as he seems to be learned enough to be able to solve it if they just told him of what they know. Mavetiel sighs and snaps Etziel's neck, killing him. He says to Terufel that he knew Etziel was weak, but at least Etziel now does not need to suffer the horror of the destruction of creation, should they fail. Terufel merely stares at Etziel's body as it disappears, possibly back to the Veil.
The Doctor, Amy and Rory burst in, armed with the Dimensional Displacer and shoot down Terufel before aiming at Mavetiel, who tells them that it is too late and that the Detonator is ready. He then presses a button that causes the entire planet to suddenly glow. Ships (possibly sent by the Shadow Proclamation to investigate) see that the planet is starting to vibrate and shoot out bolts of lightning which destroys several ships before they move into evasive action. The Doctor asks Mavetiel that he should stop now but Mavetiel is adamant that this is the only way. The Doctor sighs and merely calls Mavetiel stupid before shooting him as well. The Doctor then drops the gun and starts working at the controls. Amy asks if he can stop it and the Doctor pauses and looks quite disappointed when he merely says 'yeah' and presses the same button as Mavetiel did when he activated the Detonator and the whole planet stops glowing and shooting at the ships. He says that he thought it would be more exciting than that but then says that the Far Future was always obsessed with simple 'on/off solutions'. He then says that the Shadow Proclamation will be moving in soon and they should better leave.
The Doctor, Amy and Rory make their way into the TARDIS. Before the Doctor goes in, he sees a card fall in front of him out of nowhere. He picks it up and sees it is another Tarot card. It is the Tower, which shows a single stone tower being destroyed by a bolt of lightning with the words 'It's coming' underneath, and he checks round the room to see if someone is there. When he sees that noone is there, he closes the TARDIS doors and as it dematerialises, a sinister laughing is heard from within the room.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Mavetiel - Dougray Scott
- Terufel - Joseph Fiennes
- Shotiel - Iain Stirling
- Etziel - Mitch Hewer
Behind the scenes
- The name of this episode loosely translates from Latin as 'Time Breaks'.
- Each of the Serakym have names that use the Hebrew suffix '-el' meaning 'God', further emphasising on their perceived impression of being angels, using a crude portmanteau of Hebrew words to create their 'angelic names', albeit they are not as majestic as real angel names. Mavetiel's name loosely translates as 'Death of God'. Terufel means 'Madness of God'. 'Etziel' means 'Sorrow of God' and 'Shotiel' means 'Idiot of God'. Their rather negative names evidently show them to be nihilistic and insane.
- Serakym is a slight manipulation of the word 'Seraphim', known in Abrahamic religions (mostly Christian and Jewish) to be the highest order of angels.
- The suicidal concept of their plan mirrors the fairly deluded ambitions of Rassilon in The End of Time.
- Another Major Arcana Tarot card is found by the Doctor. This one is The Tower which signifies chaos, revelation, crisis and downfall.
|Common Series 1|
|Divided They Stand • The Man With Eleven Faces • Head of Gold • Why We Fight • Shine of the Skarkish • The Gods of Metal • Tempus Effrego • The Dimension Tablet • The Day The Multiverse Cracked • The Borderland • The Higher Beings • The Last Frontier • The Forgotten Dimension •