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The Man From The Stars

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Starmaker
'Thomas' escapes the silo
The Man From The Stars
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Story number: 6.2
Enemy: U.S. Soldiers
Setting: Silo 39, Alaska, Earth. 2011 AD
Format: 1x45 minute format
Previous Story: Swan Pond
Following Story: The Picture

The Man From The Stars is the second episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who. It airs on 10th April 2011.

Synopsis

"This is a very interesting specimin" - Professor Jackson

Deep within a silo in Alaska, the sole survivor of the most powerful race in the Universe is being held captive. Weakened and depressed, it is about to be exploited by the military. Only a man and woman in a blue box can save it.

Plot

In the void of space, a huge hypernova explodes and a single green comet-like object shoots out from the devastation. The object is shown to be flying through several galaxies in an alarming speed. It suddenly seems to morph into a beam of light and merely shoots through nebulas, other galaxies and past several planets and asteroids before making its way to one planet - Earth.

Alaska 2011

Inuit children see a small flash of green in the night sky appear and a beam of green light shoot down nearby and cause a massive explosion not too far away from the settlement. They go and investigate and see a huge crater. At the centre is a naked, grey-skinned humanoid lying unconscious covered in green slime. They see it slowly awake and notices the children above him. One waves to it, to which the alien responds with a gentle wave itself, managing to understand basic human gestures. It smiles slightly and tries to move.

However, the Inuit children are shown to be shouting at something behind them and run off. This alarms the alien and when he slowly lifts himself up, numerous cars and soldiers arrive, with guns pointing at him. One of them fires a tranquilizer dart and hits his neck. He pulls it out, displaying a small wound of dark purple blood. The alien becomes drowsy and before he passes out, sees men in white, biohazard suits move closer to him.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor states that he was going to take Amy and Rory to 'somewhere special' for the betrothed but the TARDIS just picked up a signal of an incredibly powerful power signature that landed on Earth. He says that this could be dangerous as the power signature was far too powerful than any other he has picked up before. The Doctor is also given a new screwdriver, as a 'present' from the TARDIS. Amy is excited but Rory seems a bit worried, despite Amy's words of reassurance. The TARDIS lands right next to where the pod containing the alien hit and see the crater. Rory theorises that whatever made the power signature must have been destroyed on impact as there was nothing there, but the Doctor says otherwise. He notices tyre tracks in the snow which lead to a secluded building far away. The Inuit children who found the alien arrive and say that soldiers came and took 'the grey man' away to their base. Amy asks what the 'grey man' looked like, to which the children said he was like a regular man but his skin was light grey and his eyes were this orange-red colour. The Doctor feels like he heard of that kind of being before and ushers Amy and Rory to the TARDIS, where it transports them inside the base.

They arrive outside one of the base's buildings. They see several soldiers patrolling the place. One of the soldiers, Lt. Lake, demands them to identify themselves. The Doctor uses his psychic paper to pass them all off as scientists sent by the President to monitor what is going on. Lake falls for it and think they are here to see the 'freak', and takes them to the 'Interrogation Theatre'.

When they arrive in the theatre, they are in a large room behind a sheet of glass which separates them from a large grey room with a single table which has the grey alien, wearing beige prisoner-like uniform strapped to a chair and an old man in a white coat inside as well. Inside the spectators' room, one of the other soldiers, General Arquette asks who the Doctor, Amy and Rory are and Lake tells him that the President sent these scientists to see the alien. Arquette looks wary at them but asks them to sit down, and tells Lake that he could go. Arquette tells the Doctor (or 'Dr. Smith') that they found the alien after it crash landed near their base. It could speak perfect English and seemed to have great knowledge of human history and customs. The Doctor asks if it gave its name, and seemed to recognise the alien. Arquette says that it had no name, and that was as far as they got since it came here yesterday.

The man in the white coat, introducing himself as Professor Jackson, announces to those in the small room and that he will now interview the alien. The alien has been restrained in case it proves to be dangerous. The alien interrupts Jackson by stating it would take far more than chains to hold it if it wanted to kill everyone. Jackson then asks if the alien is malicious. The alien states it does not have to be. He is asked by Arquette through the intercom of what it actually wants. The alien pauses, and asks that it wants to go home. Jackson asks why it went to Earth if it wants to go home. The alien tells him, quite angrily that his planet is gone - destroyed. Jackson, rather callously asks why it was destroyed, uncaring to the alien's evident distress. The alien responds with a line from Animal Farm: 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely'. His people had no name, as they saw no point. Most races that knew of them called them 'Star Makers'. The Doctor almost blows his cover when hearing this phrase as he is shown to know of the name. The alien goes on to say that his race were immensely powerful, playing with stars and could create galaxies in seconds. If it wanted to, the alien could destroy this planet and all creatures in it right now. Jackson continues to push, asking why it hasn't done already. The alien then makes a venomous comment that it would be no better than them. Arquette asks why he doesn't just escape and go somewhere else. The alien responds by saying that it has nowhere else to go. Amy begins to feel for the alien, and whispers to the Doctor that they need to get it out of the base. The Doctor agrees but tells her not to blow their cover just yet. Jackson says that the interview has ended and they will now take the alien back to his cell.

As they all leave, Arquette presents the Doctor with a pass to see the alien by themselves, as they are directly from the White House, so they deserve higher clearance. The Doctor thanks them and gives Arquette a mutual salute, who then leaves to his office. The Doctor, Amy and Rory see Jackson bring the alien back to its cell with a couple of soldiers. The soldiers take it to a room and seal it while Jackson tells them that only those with Level 1 clearance and leaves. The three of them walked towards the cell and were stopped by the soldiers, asking for clearance. The Doctor presents one of them, Private Strand with his clearance card and allows them entry to see 'Thomas'. The other soldier, Hawkings, laughs at Strand for giving the 'freak' a name. Strand angrily says that it is not a freak. Hawkings is shown to be dismissive and is caught eyeing up Amy, lecherously. Amy looks at him and slaps him for it. Hawkings reacts violently but Rory attempts to defend her but Hawkings even goes as far as to point his gun, only to be stopped by Strand. Strand allows them in, looking at Hawkings angrily.

Inside the cell, the Doctor addresses the restrained alien as Thomas. Thomas is seen watching television, which he is able to control. Thomas looks at them strangely for referring to him as such as only Strand has. Thomas sees that the Doctor doesn't seem like the others, and they are certainly not dressed like scientists. The Doctor whispers that he is a Time Lord. Thomas acknowledges this by stating how he knows of them because his 'warp pod' was filled with all the information of the Star Maker history, which is what Jackson desires to possess. The Doctor says that he is going to get him out buy Thomas says that he could escape now if he had a mind to. Rory asks why he wants to stay and be tortured. Thomas replies that he has nowhere else to go and does not want to die with his people or it means the end of the Star Makers. The Doctor sympathises, saying that he was once the last of his species. Thomas asks how he could go on when all that he loved died. The Docotor replied that he found more things to love than just his people. He saw humanity's brilliance as well as that of many other races. Thomas seems skeptical, seeing only the negative of humanity except for Starnd who actually had the decency to engage with Thomas, rather than look at him as an experiment.

Meanwhile, Arquette contacts Washington and asks the Pentagon about this 'Dr. Smith' and his two assistants. He sees that there are no personell from the Pentagon sent to Alaska and the President knew nothing of it. Arquette smiles and hangs up, telling Lake to sound an alarm - they have intruders.

The Doctor tries to tell them that the human race is not as evil as he sees them here, and that they will aspire to do great things. Thomas references things like the Holocaust and the Cold War as things that show humanity's brutality. The only reason Thomas is not destroying this planet for the benefit of the future of the Universe is because he knows some are actually good-hearted and destroying them would be murder.

Suddenly, an alarm sounds and a group of soldiers arrest the Doctor, Amy and Rory. In the cells, Atquette sees that the Doctor is an alien too. And not just an alien, but a time traveller. The Doctor says that he will not give up his TARDIS. Arquette tells him that he will, or they will execute Amy and Rory, take the TARDIS, force the Doctor to cooperate and finally dissect him - as they are going to do to Thomas. The Doctor says that they will be killing the closest thing the Universe has to a god, and also bringing one of the greatest races in creation to extinction. Arquette says that this is for the benefit of mankind, and sacrifices must be made.

In Thomas' cell, soldiers led by Jackson roll him to the Autopsy room. Strand is at the doors, pointing his gun and telling them not to do this. Jackson tells Strand to stand down. Strand does not and says that what they are doing is immoral. Thomas tells him to just stop, and everything will be okay. His voice suggests worry for Strand. The soldier does lower his gun, but Jackson said that he is a danger to the operation and cannot be trusted, making the soldiers open fire on Strand, killing him. The sight of Strand's death greatly affects Thomas who flies into a rage and turns his restraints into dust and vapourises the soldiers, leaving only Hawkings and Jackson. Thomas turns Hawkings into gold, as a punishment for his apparent greed for hoping to cash in on the revelation of another alien in American soil. Thomas tells Jackson that his abilities also allow him to manipulate the genetics of living things and reconstruct Jackson into a cockroach, which he then stamps on. With most of his captors dealt with, he slowly begins to turn the entire base into dust, slowly breaking apart the molecules of the building's structure. Arquette notices this and he and Lake are about to go check when they are also turned to dust as soon as they make their way out, screaming.

The Doctor sees that the bars are not as good as sand and breaks them apart easily as Thomas is weakening the base's entire foundations. The Doctor sees Thomas levitating in the middle of all the chaos with the base becoming nothing but dust which is swept away. But this does not stop Thomas who begins to strip away the snow and even the rock beneath it. The Doctor asks Thomas to stop but Thomas states that he has seen the 'best of mankind': callous, cruel and barbaric, and sets out to destroy them. Amy then shouts to Thomas to please stop, or he will be seen not as an example of his race's power or brilliance as he hoped to be, but for their rage and corrupted nature which ended with their destruction. Thomas then begins to realise and stops his wave of destruction. He sees that he must do something that no Star Maker would do: give themselves up to help others - as his people merely watched and toyed with other lifeforms. He then entered the TARDIS, going into the console room. The Doctor, Amy and Rory saw that he was now draining himself into the heart of the TARDIS. The Doctor asks why he would do that, to which Thomas replied that he now has a purpose, and that's all he ever wanted. With that, he disappeared. Amy asked what happened to him, and the Doctor said that he drained all his power into the TARDIS and effectively bonded with the Time Vortex, becoming 'one with eternity', being part of everything and never be alone again. The Doctor then tells them that they should be heading off somewhere - Rio, perhaps. The Doctor then activates the engines.

Cast

Behind the scenes

  • The episode contains several references to the David Bowie film, The Man Who Fell to Earth, the most apparent being the 'name' of the Star Maker, Thomas, which is based on Bowie's character's name, Thomas Jerome Newton.
  • There is also some references to the 2008 remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, as it features the military detaining and hoping to experiment on this limitlessly powerful alien.
  • This episode features humanity as the enemy instead of the alien in this episode.
  • The character of Thomas shares similarities to the character Klaatu from both Earth Stood Still films. He shares the remake's very alien and fairly expressionless demeanour, being apathetic and uninterested in humanity. He also shares the original's empathy but also his outrage on how humanity can be so cruel. He also shares similarity to Thomas Jerome Newton, as he becomes bitter and hateful because of his home planet's fate and sees everything as pointless.
  • In Thomas' cell, a television shows the children's program Bagpuss. The program causes Thomas to shed tears and smile at the program, seeing beauty in the childish innocence of the characters - attributes he could not see with most of the soldiers.

See Also

Phoenix Saga - Series 6

Xmas Special - Joyeux Noel

Swan Pond  • The Man From The Stars  • The Picture  • Night of the Empty  • Dawn of the Shadows  • The Death of Hope  • Rise of Atlantis  • Necropolis  • Sphinx's Wrath  • War of the Cybermen  • The Third Man  • Ex Nihilo  • Son of Perdition

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