2 days ago:
It was on the planet Skaro that my old enemy, the Master, was finally put on trial. They say he listened calmly as his list of evil crimes was read and sentence passed. Then he made his last, and I thought somewhat curious, request. He demanded that I, the Doctor, a rival Time Lord, should take his remains back to our home planet - Gallifrey. It was a request they should never have granted.
A Time Lord has 13 lives and the Master had used all of his. But rules never meant much to him, so I stowed his remains safely for the voyage back. Because even in death, I couldn't trust him. In all my travels through space and time, and nearing the end of my seventh life, I was finally beginning to realise that you could never be too careful.
Grace, I came back to life before your eyes. I held back death. Look, I can't make your dream come true forever, but I can make it come true today.
Once upon a time, in a land not too dissimilar to ours, there lived a king. And he was a good king; in an age when good was something of an unfashionable rarity. He was very very wise, and very very powerful. But he was also very very old. And he realized that for all his great wisdom, and his great power, he would soon have to leave his kingdom once and for all and make the journey to the outside world of infinite darkness. And so on the eve of his departure, when his physicians had finished all their head shaking, and his wives had wrung as many tears from their eyes as they could, he called his son and heir to his side. “Everything you see is yours to command,” he said. “But be advised. The better slaves are those who still believe they taste some freedom. Play the tyrant, but you must inspire love as well as fear.” Yet the son cared not for his words. And when the corpse had been dispatched with much pomp and fireworks to the darker realms outside, the new king resolved to stretch the limits of his authority. He gathered all the people before him and told them that their every thought must match his thought. No will should exist save his will. And people being people, they agreed. Those that didn’t, vanished in the night and their families soon learned to pretend that they had never existed. But still the king was not content. So he instructed all the animals in his kingdom that they must now obey his commands. Horses should bark, dogs should mew, fish should fly from tree to tree, exactly as he desired. And animals being animals, they agreed. Some of the pigs had to be culled, but no one minded because they tasted so lip smackingly good. And the cats had to go because no one could tell a cat anything. But soon the people and the animals lived in perfect harmony. Their lives precise expressions of the whims of their lord.
Every living creature obeyed their king; doing everything that he wanted, down to the smallest detail. Sometimes even before he knew he wanted it. But still the king was not content. Living creatures only made up the smallest number of his subjects. So he gave out further orders. He instructed that the waves should crash upon the shore only when he gave the word. He instructed that the wind should not blow, but suck. Time should not run forwards but backwards, or sideways. It took years to persuade them. Soldiers slashed at the waves until their swords were soaked with wave blood, wind and time were locked in the deepest dungeons until, starving, they gave in. The king ruled the elements. But still, he was not content. There was one subject that still balked at his power: music. How the king hated music. Refusing to be constrained, refusing to be disciplined. A small burst of recitative flowering into a fugue without permission. Or a cantata breaking out overnight into a fully fledged oratorio. “Will no man rid me of these turbulent tunes!?” he cried. And the militia, now trained to obey his merest impulse, took him at his word. They seized the music. Every last crochet and minim, each breve and innocent little semibreve and threw them out of the kingdom. They threw them into the outside world of infinite darkness. And music was banished forever. At last, the king had his own universe. It was his, and no one else’s. He was happy, and no one dared point out to him that he had exiled his only means by which he could express it.
You're lucky Susan; lucky I left you behind. I've seen so many people die, I've got used to it. I just move on...
But today feels like a different day. One lost life too many. Today I just... I'll just say enough. I'm sorry you had to die too.
Four minutes? That's ages! What if I get bored? I need a television, a couple of books. Anyone for chess? Bring me knitting.
Good. Charley, C'rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly: Friends, companions I've known, I salute you. Cass, I apologize.