Doctor Who:
The Olympian Experiment

by Robin Gordon

Sarah Jane Smith & the Doctor

Episode 2

Auksford crest: great auk supporting a book with the legend "Ex ovo sapientia"
- Auksford 2008 -

Copyright Robin Gordon, 1976 / 2008

SCENE 24 (Continued)

Athene approaches the gallery door, opens it, looks in and gives a gasp of surprise. The Doctor comes out with his hands casually raised in a gesture of surrendering without fuss.  A slow grin spreads over his face.

DOCTOR:  Hallo, Mother.

ATHENE:  No!  It’s impossible.

DOCTOR:  Oh, it's me all right.  I’m sorry to give you a shock, but I do assure you it's a complete accident.  My Tardis seems to have gone somehow off course.  I was making for the late twentieth century A.D.

ATHENE:  A Tardis mark V, I suppose?

DOCTOR:  That’s right.

ATHENE:  As if you couldn’t find anything more modern!  How old are you now – no, don’t tell me, I shouldn’t have asked – but a mark V!

DOCTOR:  Well, Mother, we’ll never agree about that, but I still think there’s a lot to be said for the old Tardis – good solid reliable machines, without any unnecessary frills.

ATHENE:  Not so reliable it seems.

DOCTOR:  Well she is a couple of hundred years overdue for her twenty million parsec service, and besides, there seems to be a fault in your space-time force-field.

ATHENE:  You don’t suppose that sort of argument will save you if Council hear of your intrusion.  It’s going to be virtually impossible to get you out of here – and there is a particular reason why you must go quickly.

DOCTOR:  I know.  I’ve just seen him.

ATHENE:  What?!

DOCTOR:  Don't worry, he didn’t see me.  But he has caused a bit of problem – which makes two I've got, both girls: one too many and one too few.

ATHENE:  Is all this relevant?

DOCTOR:  Yes, I’m afraid it is.  You see, I've got Iphigeneia...

ATHENE:  I might have known!  It’s ten years since she disappeared …

DOCTOR:  Ten years?  Perhaps you’re right about the Tardis getting unreliable.

ATHENE:  … and during those ten years we have had nothing but quarrels.  It’s been raised at every meeting: Poseidon accuses Artemis of interfering in the experiment to protect one of her favourites, and Artemis has almost walked out of the project on more than one occasion.  Not one of us believed she was telling the truth – not with the reports we got from Odysseus and half the Greek army.  And all the time …

DOCTOR:  Well, I’m sorry, Mother, but I did bring her back to you as soon as I could.

ATHENE:  Well I suppose I’ll find some way to sort it out.  Where is she?

DOCTOR:   In my Tardis.  It’s in the docking bay.  But I’m, more concerned about Sarah.


DOCTOR:  Sarah Jane Smith.  A young human girl.  My travelling companion.  She’s gone off with … er … him.

* * *


The study of the young Time Lord. The furniture includes bookshelves, an audio-visual learning console connected to the main computer of the Olympos, a videophone, a writing table.  There are books and tape cassettes on the shelves and the tab1e, together with microscopes and other scientific equipment, and specimens of rocks and plants from several different  planets.  At the back of the table is a cage containing a pair of Quilsnips from Betelgeuse 17, pretty little creatures which he keeps as pets.  Near the cage is a leather pouch, closed by a draw string.  

The door opens.  Sarah and the Young Time Lord enter.

YOUNG TIME LORD:  You’ll be safe here, Sarah Jane Smith.

SARAH:  Yes, but …

YOUNG TL:  What?

SARAH:  Well, for a start, who are you?

YOUNG TL [shrugs]:  A Time Lord.  Oh, sorry, I don’t suppose you've heard of us.

SARAH:  Yes I have.  The, Doctor …

YOUNG TL:  What?

SARAH:  Nothing.

YOUNG TL:  The Doctor?

SARAH:  Just someone I used to know.  It’s not important.  He told me about Time Lords.

YOUNG TL:  He told you?

SARAH:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  But Humans aren’t supposed to know about us.  They think we're gods.  Where are you from?

SARAH:  The twentieth century.  England.

YOUNG TL:  You’re a time traveller?

SARAH:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  Impossible!  Humans didn't discover time travel until much later, and even then they couldn't have penetrated into the Trojan, zone.

SARAH:  Well, I was only a passenger.  The owner was from somewhere more advanced.

YOUNG TL:  The Doctor?

SARAH:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  Where is he?

SARAH:  Oh, he left.

YOUNG TL:  Without you?

SARAH:  Yes.  He was in a bit of a hurry.  I sort of … fell out.

YOUNG TL:  It’s all right.  I won't give you away – or him, whoever he is.  I wouldn’t do anything to cause trouble for Humans.  If I do well enough in my finals I want to make a special study of Earth for my thesis.  Actually I’m worried about certain things just now.  That’s one of the reasons I persuaded Mother to let me spend my vacation here on the Olympos.

SARAH:  Is the Olympos a Tardis?

YOUNG TL:  A Tardis?  Oh, I see what you mean.  No, she’s a sort of hyper-Tardis.

SARAH:  What’s that?

YOUNG TL:  Well, she’s a sort of research, station able to move about in space and time.

SARAH:  Isn’t that the same as a Tardis, only bigger.

YOUNG TL:  Not really.  You can land an ordinary Tardis inside the Olympos.

SARAH:  Because she’s bigger.

YOUNG TL:  No, it’s because she incorporates different principles of space-time refraction.  A Tardis is bigger inside than outside, isn’t it?

SARAH:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  So, theoretically, you could land a Tardis inside another Tardis.

SARAH:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  But it’s impossible.  Either they, both occupy the same space-time co-ordinates and cancel each other out in a colossal explosion, or the first is inside the second which is inside the first, which is inside the second, which is inside the first, and so on for infinity.

SARAH:  So you could never get out?

YOUNG TL:  No. But if a Tardis is inside the Olympos, she’s inside, and that’s that.

SARAH:  Why?

YOUNG TL:  Well, for one thing, the Olympos doesn’t have hyper-dimensional inversion.

SARAH:  What?

YOUNG TL:  She’s just the same size on the outside as on the inside.  It takes a lot more power to move her.  And she can’t change her shape either.

SARAH:  So how, do you hide her?

YOUNG TL:  We don’t.  We just keep her floating above this mountain top, half in the clouds.  The Humans think it’s the abode of the gods.  They’ve even renamed the mountain Mount Olympos.  Oh, I’m sorry.  I forgot you were Human for a moment.  I didn’t mean to offend you.

SARAH:  That’s all right.

YOUNG TL:  Let me show you the docking bay.

He switches on the viewing screen.  It shows the docking bay, then zooms in on the thunder-cloud.

YOUNG TL:  That belongs to Zeus.  He’s Chairman of the Research Committee.  He’s on Council, too.

The picture pans to the sea-monster.

YOUNG TL:  Poseidon’s.  They keep the same shape so that the Humans can recognise them.

The picture pans to the Aegis.

YOUNG TL:  That’s Mother’s little runabout.

SARAH:  The Aegis?

YOUNG TL:  That’s right!  Have you seen it before?


The picture pans to the Tardis.

YOUNG TL:  I’ve never seen that before.

SARAH [affecting, ignorance]:  Oh?

YOUNG TL:  That’s what you came in, isn’t it?  That’s how you knew about Tardises.

SARAH:  Well …

YOUNG TL:  But you know what this means, don’t you?

SARAH:  Er …

YOUNG TL [increasingly excited]:  The Doctor’s still here.  I’ve got to find some way of getting you down to the docking bay without being seen.

SARAH:  You mean you’ll help?

YOUNG TL:  Of course I’ll help.

SARAH:  Won't you get into trouble?

YOUNG TL:  Only if we're caught.   And anyway, I’m curious to meet this mysterious Doctor.

SARAH:  Um ... I don’t think he wants to meet anyone.

YOUNG TL:  I’m not surprised.  I bet he’s a Time Lord. That’s it, he's come from the future to gather material for a history of the Olympian Experiment.  Risking his life for scholarship, for the truth.

SARAH:  Well ... he never could control his curiosity.

YOUNG TL:  I feel I know him already.  If only he could tell me how things turn out.

SARAH:  What things?

YOUNG TL:  You probably overheard part of the discussion if you were in the gallery.  If Poseidon has his way, Council will alter the Statutes to allow free experimentation with less developed races throughout the Universe.

SARAH:  But that’s horrible.

YOUNG TL:  Yes.  Morbius is behind it.

SARAH:  Morbius!!!

YOUNG TL:  You've heard of him?

SARAH:  I’ve met him.  [She shudders].

YOUNG TL [impressed but puzzled]:  Brilliant mind, people say.  But if he becomes Chairman of Council … well things will be very different, and not very pleasant.

* * *

On board Odysseus’ ship.  Odysseus, Elpenor, Eurylochos and others cling to the rigging as the ship is lashed and tossed by the storm.

* * *


The Olympos: Poseidon’s laboratory.  Poseidon and Leukothea, still robed as gods, watch Odysseus’ storm-tossed craft on a viewing screen.

LEUKOTHEA:  The other ships have gone down.  I think this one will last until the lull, which according to our meteorological analysis will begin in one minute, thirty-five seconds from … now, and last for approximately five minutes.

POSEIDON:  Excellent.  Here is the Time Ring.  You know what to do.


POSEIDON:  Odysseus should be in a receptive frame of mind.  Are the transporter co-ordinates set?

LEUKOTHEA:  Everything is ready.

Holding the Time Ring she takes her place in the transporter field.  Poseidon prepares to pull the lever.  He waits until the picture on the viewing-screen shows the abatement of the storm, then energises the field.  Leukothea disappears.

* * *


On board Odysseus’ ship.  The storm has abated.

ODYSSEUS:  Make everything fast.  Hurry, this is only a lull.  The storm will return. Hack away the rigging. Throw those broken spars overboard.

They hurry to carry out his orders.

ODYSSEUS:  Eurylochos!


ODYSSEUS:  Have you any idea where we are?

EURYLOCHOS:  None at all, my lord.

ODYSSEUS:  I thought we might have struck Crete.

EURYLOCHOS:  We’re probably too far to the west.

ODYSSEUS:  Mmmh.  Well, it’s plain we can’t go north against this gale.  Now, do we head east and try to make Crete … or west and hope for a break in the weather … or do we just run before the storm … further and further out to sea?

EURYLOCHOS:  They say there are strange lands to the south – beyond the sea.

ODYSSEUS:  Whatever we do will be wrong.  Poseidon is determined to destroy us.  Athene, goddess of wisdom, show me what I must do.

As Odysseus prays, Eurylochos sinks to his knees, for, unseen by the king, Leukothea has appeared in the poop.  Odysseus sees Eurylochochos staring, and turns.

LEUKOTHEA:  Odysseus!

She motions Odysseus to approach.  He approaches and kneels before her.

LEUKOTHEA:  Odysseus of the nimble wits, King of Ithaca, who conquered lofty Ilion’s mighty walls by cunning when force of arms availèd naught, hearken unto me!  I am Lekothea, the White Goddess, daughter of the sea, come to strengthen your sinews that you may combat the elements and win safely to the shore.  Take this Ring!

She gives Odysseus the Time Ring.

LEUKOTHEA:  It is an amulet possessed of the power of Poseidon.  Look well on the curiously wrought seal marked with the secret ciphers of the great God of the Ocean.  If the seas overwhelm your frail barque, turn that seal, and the power of the ring will carry you to safety.

ODYSSEUS:  Goddess of the sea, I thank you, but retain your gifts: I’ll not desert my comrades in their hour of need, even at the cost of my life.  I’d sooner die than walk on earth a coward.

Leukothea ignores the proffered ring.

LEUKOTHEA:  Keep the Ring, Odysseus.  It will save you and two of your companions.  Choose them well.  It is the will of the gods.

Leukothea vanishes.  Odysseus and Eurylochos look at the Time Ring.

ODYSSEUS:  Did anyone else hear what she said?

EURYLOCHOS:  I don’t think so, my lord.

ODYSSEUS:  Say nothing about the ring.

Odysseus puts the Time Ring on his arm.

* * *


The Olympos: the Young Time Lord’s study.

YOUNG TL:  I think it’s about time we were going.

SARAH [not moving]:  Yes.

YOUNG TL:  Did you meet Morbius in the past or the future?

SARAH:  My past, his future … I think.  He was …

YOUNG TL [hurriedly]:  No!  Don’t tell me! – I'm sorry but that’s the cardinal law of the Time Lords.  We can know the future of other races but never our own.

SARAH:  Why not?

YOUNG TL:  That way madness lies.  Don’t you know what happened to the Osirians?

SARAH:  I only ever met Sutek.

YOUNG TL:  Sutek!!!

SARAH [changing the subject]:  What beautiful little creatures.

YOUNG TL:  They’re quilsnips from Betelgeuse 17.  You met Sutek?!

SARAH:  I don't know if it was past or future.  There was a Tine Lord … I can't tell you.

YOUNG TL:  No.  No, of course not.  You never met Thoth, I suppose?


YOUNG TL:  He had this brilliant idea of a universal writing system based on fundamental semiological concepts, so that all races of the Universe could communicate in writing no matter what language they spoke.  It never really caught on, you know, but we still use Thoth’s classification and thesaurus.  The fascinating thing is that there are odd traces of the universal writing system in all sorts of odd corners – even here on Earth.  Did you know that Egyptian hieroglyphics are really a simplified version of it?  Nobody knows how it got here.

SARAH [uneasily]:  Shouldn’t we go and look for the Tar … er …time machine?

YOUNG TL:  Yes.  We ought to get started but, before you go, I went you to have … this.

He picks up the bag from the table, opens it and shows her the crystal it contains.

SARAH:  No, I couldn’t.   Not a Metabelis crystal!

YOUNG TL:  Do you know Metabelis III?  It’s one of the most beautiful planets in the galaxy.  It’s called the blue planet, but it’s not blue like Earth.  It’s a clear, cold, pure, crystalline blue.  The caves are labyrinths of amethyst, and every crystal contains a magic …

SARAH:  I know.

YOUNG TL:  Don’t use it idly, Sarah.  It has power over the mind.  It can liberate the imprisoned, but it can also unhinge the incautious.

He closes the leather bag over the crystal and gives it to her.  She takes it shyly, gazing into his eyes.

YOUNG TL [abruptly]:  Well, let’s go, shall we?

At this moment the door-warbler sounds.  The young Time Lord looks up, but before he has time to act the door is opened.  Sarah swiftly hides behind it as Athene comes in.

YOUNG TL [weakly]:  Hallo, Mother.  Um … were you looking for me?

ATHENE:  Would I have come otherwise?

He shakes his head.

ATHENE:  You must try to express yourself more logically instead of always using these Human colloquialisms.  Now, where is Sarah Jane Smith?


ATHENE:  The young Human girl, hiding, if I am not mistaken, behind the door.

Athene closes the door and reveals Sarah.

ATHENE:  Come with me.  The Doctor is waiting.

SARAH:  The Doctor?!

YOUNG TL:  Where is he?

ATHENE:  You stay here.  You’ve got a lot of studying to do.

YOUNG TL:  But I want to meet the Doctor.

ATHENE:  You must not come.  Trust me in this if you have ever trusted me.  It is vital for your friend’s safety and that of her companion –  and for your own.  If we are discovered even I may not escape punishment – and the punishment is not one to treat with levity.  Will you promise me that you will remain here until I return?

YOUNG TL [reluctantly]:  Well … all right … I promise.

ATHENE:  Good.  Come, Sarah!

Athene and Sarah go out.

* * *


The Olympos: the docking bay.  The Doctor is waiting near the Tardis.  Enter Athene and Sarah.

DOCTOR:  Ah, there you are Sarah.  Well, let’s get moving.

SARAH:  Doctor, I don’t understand.  What’s going on?

DOCTOR:  Just a little family party, that’s all.  You’ve met Mummy, haven't you?  She’s going to switch off the force field and let us out.

SARAH:  But …

ATHENE:  No more time for talk.  You must go quickly.  But first, as Humans say, help claims its reward.

DOCTOR: One good turn deserves another.

ATHENE:  Exactly.

DOCTOR:  You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

ATHENE:  There is no need to descend to the simian.

DOCTOR:  Oh come now, Mother, we’re all chimpanzees at heart.

ATHENE:  This is serious.  As you know Council is waiting for our report before deciding whether to allow experimentation with less developed races or to ban it. This is a matter that affects the whole future of our race.  I believe it must inevitably lead to abandonment of the cardinal law, but even if it does not, it is an immoral use of power.  Poseidon is so eager to exploit the present situation that I believe he has planned an unauthorised experiment to investigate the behaviour of Humans in an alien environment.

DOCTOR:  You mean he’s going to send a man to Mars?

ATHENE:  Much further than that – unless you stop him.

DOCTOR:  Me?  Now look, Mother …

ATHENE:  I want you to pick up Odysseus before Poseidon does, keep him hidden until I give you a signal, and then take him back to his home in Ithaca.
DOCTOR:  How do you know it’s going to be Odysseus?

ATHENE:  We’ve all become far too involved.  We’ve chosen individual Humans as protégés.  We take a special interest in them, try to protect then from harm.  It’s unscientific, but that’s what has happened.  Some of us take particular pleasure in subjecting the protégés of others to their nastiest experiments.

DOCTOR:  Ah.  You look after Odysseus, so Poseidon uses him as a guinea-pig.  Well, how do I find him?

ATHENE:  Link the controls of your Tardis to the Aegis.

DOCTOR:  And you've got the Aegis hooked up to the Olympos computer.

ATHENE:  Of course.  Poseidon won’t be able to make a move without our knowledge.

DOCTOR:  Right.  Come on, Sarah.

The Doctor and Sarah enter the Tardis.  Athene  goes into the Aegis.

* * *


Inside the Tardis.  Enter Sarah and the Doctor.  The Doctor begins adjusting controls.  Sarah looks at the bunk.

SARAH:  Doctor!  She’s gone!

DOCTOR:  She’ll be well looked after.

SARAH:  Athene?

DOCTOR:  Yes.  She thinks she can persuade Artemis to accept the rescue without asking too many awkward questions – after all Iphigeneia was one of her favourites.  So she’ll just turn up again as Priestess of Artemis on the island of Tauris.

ATHENE [speaking by radio from the Aegis]:  Are you ready?

DOCTOR:  Ready.

ATHENE:  Three … two … one … now!

The Doctor pulls a switch.  The Tardis begins her take-off routine, fails, shudders, protests, tries again, then subsides.

DOCTOR:  The poor old girl doesn’t like it at all.

SARAH:  What's wrong?

DOCTOR:  Oh, nothing … but how would you like it if your mind were taken over by someone else, completely possessed by another mind.

SARAH:  But the Tardis is only a machine.

DOCTOR:  Aren’t we all, Sarah, aren’t we all?

ATHENE:  Link completed.  It all depends on you now.  Farewell.


SARAH:  What happens now?

DOCTOR [relaxing with yo-yo]:  We wait.

SARAH:  How long?

DOCTOR:  Until the Aegis sees an opportunity to snatch Odysseus.

He yo-yos

SARAH:  Doctor?


SARAH:  Is Athene really your mother?


SARAH:  I met someone else today who is her son.

DOCTOR:  Did you like him?

SARAH:  Who is he?

DOCTOR:  Didn’t you recognise me?


DOCTOR:   I’ve improved considerably over the years, haven't I?

SARAH:  But … how is it possible … for …

DOCTOR:  For there to be two of me at one time?  Well the body’s cells die and are replaced over a period of time, so it’s not really a case of physical identity, but we are the same person, so … well, it’s not very pleasant and we try to avoid it as much as possible.  It would have been a tremendous traumatic shock for him to have met me.

SARAH:  The cardinal law about not knowing your own future?

DOCTOR:  Exactly.  Mind you, I don’t think he’d have been disappointed in the way I’ve turned out, but you never can tell.  The young have such impossible ideals.

SARAH:  How would he have known it was you?  How did Athene know you were you.  I suppose Time Lords must recognise each other by some sort of aura.

DOCTOR:  Something like that.

SARAH:  Did you recognise me when you met me    at UNIT?

DOCTOR:  Well, it was rather a long time ago.  I used to think about it quite a lot, then it gradually got pushed to the back of my mind.  Do you know, it’s, not until today that I even realised who the mysterious Doctor was.

SARAH:  Well that’s not long.  After all it was only today that we met him.

Sarah laughs.  At this moment the Tardis takes off.

* * *


A rocky sea shore.  A fearsome storm is raging.  Beams, spars and planks from Odysseus’ ship, are tossed by the waves.  Odysseus hauls Eurylochos out of the water and they both collapse in utter exhaustion on the shore.  After a while Odysseus struggles to his knees, and, shielding his eyes against the wind, looks out to sea.  There is no sign of the ship or of any survivors.  He turns to look at Eurylochos, who clasps his hand, with tears of grief and gratitude staining his cheeks.  Odysseus returns the clasp.

A cry is heard.  They both look around.  It comes again, and they see a figure struggling along the shore.  It is Elpenor.  He comes up did fells on his knees before Odysseus.

ELPENOR:  My lord.

ODYSSEUS:  Elpenor!  Did you see anyone else?

ELPENOR:  No-one my lord – no-one alive.

ODYSSEUS:  The wrath of Poseidon!  What power can stand against him?

EURYLOCHOS:  You know, my lord.


EURYLOCHOS:  The ring, Odysseus.

ODYSSEUS:  I’d forgotten it.

Odysseus takes off the Time Ring and looks at it.

ELPENOR:  What ring is this?

EURYLOCHOS:  The goddess Leukothea brought it to the King.  He could have saved himself from Poseidon’s anger.

They examine the Time Ring, passing it from hand to hand.

ELPENOR:  How could it have saved Odysseus?

EURYLOCHOS:  It is an amulet possessed of the power of Poseidon.  Those were her words.

Elpenor is holding the Time Ring when the Greeks hear a strange noise.  They turn to look.  It is the Tardis.  The Doctor and Sarah come out.  The Greeks face them suspiciously, ready to defend themselves.

The Doctor comes forward and holds out his hand.

DOCTOR:  King Odysseus, I presume.

ODYSSEUS:  Who?  Odysseus?  I don’t think I’ve heard of him.  Or … wasn’t he one of the leaders of the expedition to Troy?  You must forgive me, sir.  A poor merchant has his own troubles.

SARAH: [whispering]:  Doctor, look who it is!

DOCTOR:  Hush, Sarah.  [Aloud to Odysseus]: You don’t have to pretend with me, my dear fellow.  I've been sent to help you.

ELPENOR [rashly]:  We don’t need help from barbarians!  We have the Ring of Power from Poseidon himself!

Elpenor flourishes  the Time Ring.  Odysseus and Eurylochos try to stop him.  All three Greeks vanish.

SARAH:  Where did they go?

DOCTOR:  Didn’t you recognise it, Sarah?  A Time Ring.

Suddenly the sounds of a Tardis taking off are heard.  Sarah swings round in wild alarm.

SARAH:  Doctor!  The Tardis!

* * * * *

Episode 1

Episode 3

Doctor Who: The Olympian Experiment: Index

Index to Robin Gordon's works

Auksford Index

Send an e-mail to Robin Gordon

Please remember that this work is subject to copyright.  "Doctor Who" copyright BBC; "The Olympian Experiment" copyright Robin Gordon 1976/2008.  Please see Copyright and concessions for permitted use.