CHARLEY: They're not exactly what you'd call grateful, are they. They
should thank us. All we've done is start a bit of a revolution,
unshackled the underdogs, stirred them up a bit, haven't we?
CHARLEY: I was saying, Doctor, we've tried to help them and now they're
shooting at us!
DOCTOR: That's often the way.
CHARLEY: Are you all right?
DOCTOR: I was just thinking. How about a trip to Venice, Charley?
CHARLEY: What? Look, we're in imminent danger of being shot to
DOCTOR: I just fancy it. It popped into my head.
CHARLEY: Run, Doctor!
DOCTOR: They're not exactly grateful for my help, are they?
CHARLEY: I just said. Oh, why do I bother? Are people ever?
DOCTOR: Yes, sometimes.
CHARLEY: Oh, good for you. Now how about getting us away from here
before they tell us outright how pleased they were for freeing all
their slaves and closing down their weaponry installations.
DOCTOR: That's what I'm trying to do, Charley. I'm attempting to save
our necks, find the Tardis and plan our next trip all at the same time.
I may have overextended myself.
CHARLEY: I rather think you have.
DOCTOR: This way.
DOCTOR: There she is. There she is, Bright, bold, beautiful and bright
blue, waiting for us. Now, where's the key?
CHARLEY: Will you hurry up?
DOCTOR: It's in my shoe, of course.
MAN [OC]: Turn around and drop your weapons!
DOCTOR: Charley, quickly, inside. And as for you lot. I don't carry
weapons. I don't need them. And I must say, I think you treat your
visitors here in a very shabby manner indeed. In fact
CHARLEY: Oh Doctor, get in!
(Door shuts in a hail of bullets.)
DOCTOR: What a terrible lot. Just because I put an end to their reign
of terror. Didn't they know that's what I do? There's nothing I like
more than putting the kibosh on a really good vile regime.
CHARLEY: And what do you do in your spare time, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Have a nice cup of tea.
(The Tardis dematerialises.)
DOCTOR: And dematerialise for a while. I'll put the kettle on, and you
put your feet up, or whatever it is you do.
CHARLEY: Well, I'm going to check on poor Ramsey. He'll be worried
DOCTOR: He's a Vortisaur, Charley. He can't get worried. We really
ought to take him home. He's looking much better these days.
CHARLEY: Oh, must we?
DOCTOR: Well, I think
CHARLEY: Were you serious?
DOCTOR: What about?
CHARLEY: Our going to Venice.
DOCTOR: I don't see why not. We can go absolutely anywhere we want. Do
CHARLEY: Don't see why not. Frankly, somewhere peaceful without being
threatened with death every five minutes would be rather nice.
(Church bells ringing.)
ORSINO: (sighs) What would it take to bring her back, Churchwell?
CHURCHWELL: I really don't know, Your Grace. I'm not sure she'd be keen.
ORSINO: Isn't that what we all want? Wouldn't that make everything
ORSINO: You think not? Could it be you're less devoted to my Estella
than the rest of my people? You don't think that she could save us?
CHURCHWELL: I do not think anything could save
us, Your Grace.
ORSINO: Just as well. Salvation is, I think, such a dull and worthy
concept. But to see her again. Oh, when I think of when we first came
to this city, they made her such sumptuous gifts. I knew they had all
fallen in love with her. We alighted at Rialto, and proceeded to San
Marco, and they lined the walkways and canals to see her pass, just to
see what she was wearing.
CHURCHWELL: It is true the people of Venice adored Estella. But even if
she returned tonight, she still couldn't save us.
ORSINO: They gave her the book she coveted. Volumes printed letter by
letter onto the finest vellum, covered with the richest shot silk. She
returned laughing one day, and our servants were carrying her spoils.
Twenty four crates of fish and fruit and wine, and a hundredweight of
CHURCHWELL: Sir, this dwelling on the past, it isn't good. This was
over a hundred years ago.
ORSINO: Soon there'll be nothing left but the past, Churchwell. Tell me
she'll be back before the end. Tell me she'll be here.
CHARLEY: I'm not so sure I'm keen, actually.
DOCTOR: Of course you are.
CHARLEY: You said that we could go anywhere. Venice always sounds
something of a gloomy place.
DOCTOR: Didn't you go there on any of your travels?
CHARLEY: They weren't really travels.
DOCTOR: You said you were a traveller.
CHARLEY: Well, it's certainly what I'd like to be. Father wasn't keen
on my striking out by myself.
DOCTOR: Well, you can see the world now, anyway.
CHARLEY: With you to protect me? I'm sure my family would be suitably
DOCTOR: I'm sure they would.
CHARLEY: They'll be shocked, I'm sure, when you eventually take me back.
DOCTOR: Yes, they will. When we go back.
CHARLEY: What's so special about Venice anyway?
DOCTOR: It's magnificent, and charming, and often quite silent and
sinister. Last time I watched the lights spilling from Palace windows
onto the Grand Canal, and all the stars looked like they were trapped
underwater, bursting to get out.
CHARLEY: This place is gloomy enough.
DOCTOR: And you get all these people swishing
past in their gondolas, gorging themselves on fruit and cakes. The
whole place lights up wonderfully at night and looks new. In the
morning it's all desolate and ruined.
CHARLEY: Couldn't you do something about tidying this place up?
DOCTOR: The Tardis? What's wrong with it?
CHARLEY: For a really futuristic ship, what you ought to have is
gleaming white surfaces and bright flashing controls, and, I mean, it's
the 1930s now, Doctor. This place is like something out of Jules Verne.
DOCTOR: It might be the 1930s to you, Charley. For me it's nothing of
CHARLEY: And which decade is it for you? You've been a little evasive
about that. You can't shock me, you know. I've heard enough outrageous
things by now.
DOCTOR: Which decade? All of them. None of them. I don't really know
any more. Ah, we're about to arrive.
CHARLEY: When? You were talking about the early Venetian
Renaissance before, when you were muttering and fiddling with your
coordinates. You made the sixteenth century sound entertaining. Have
you managed to find it?
DOCTOR: Er, no, it's the twenty third century.
CHARLEY: So it isn't the Venetian Renaissance, then?
DOCTOR: Not really, no.
DOCTOR: That's not so good. It isn't what you'd call the best time
to drop in on Venice.
(The Tardis materialises.)
CHARLEY: Why, what's wrong with it?
DOCTOR: There's not a great deal of it left.
(Clock ticking in the background. Church bells still ringing.)
ORSINO: Tomorrow morning, I can't stop myself from hoping that tomorrow
morning, I'll see her again. That she'll come walking back into the
Palace. Is it too late to say I know what a fool I was?
CHURCHWELL: It is really, sir.
ORSINO: I gambled on the one thing I had no right to. I can still see
the look in her eyes. At the second I made my stake, neither she nor I
could believe I'd bargained on the only thing I could never replace.
She looked so hurt, and then, that look hardened. I had betrayed her in
the only way she could never forgive. Of course she had to curse me. Of
course she had to curse this whole city.
CHURCHWELL: It isn't her curse. This place would die even without
ORSINO: Oh! See, my dear, how corrupt we are, when even my servants
contradict me? Contradict me again, Churchwell, and I will have you
CHURCHWELL: Oh, I'm sorry, Your Grace.
ORSINO: Estella, my people are waiting for me. They need their Count to
watch over the last of their revels. They are expecting me, I think, to
deliver them from your evil.
(Door closes, walking on stone streets.)
DOCTOR: I've never been here at this time before.
CHARLEY: Is it dangerous? I mean, obviously what I really want is for
you to put me in the midst of a really life-threatening situation. I'd
really like that. Oh, you'd notice that, of course.
DOCTOR: It all depends how long there is before the whole place
goes tumbling and crumbling into the warm Adriatic. But by the looks of
we're safe enough on an upper storey. It looks to me as if the lower
storeys of some of those palaces out there have vanished completely.
CHARLEY: Look at the state of this place. It's all seen better
days. I'd be ashamed to have carpets like this. No wonder it's deserted.
DOCTOR: If I remember rightly most people cleared out at the last
minute, right before the great crash. It'll be something to see,
Charley. Venice is one of the great old cities of Earth. Imagine seeing
it sink, watching the marble facades cracking and dropping.
CHARLEY: I'm not sure I want to be around, really.
DOCTOR: Oh, I would. There might only be days left. Or hours or
CHARLEY: You're trying to unsettle me.
DOCTOR: Am I?
CHARLEY: You know you are.
DOCTOR: Look, here's someone. Maybe they haven't
evacuated completely. Madam, good morning.
LAVISH: It's six in the evening, young man. Are you drunk?
DOCTOR: Certainly not.
LAVISH: They're mostly drunk. They seem to think it's the thing to
CHARLEY: Seems like a fair enough response to me.
LAVISH: They're all here for the party. That's what they think it is.
DOCTOR: And it isn't?
LAVISH: Crazed aristocrats, madmen, inveterate revellers, all of
them here for the final carnival of all. I don't know what they're
expecting, besides a great deal of destruction. They'll all die, of
DOCTOR: And you? Why are you here?
LAVISH: Is he always this impertinent?
CHARLEY: Sometimes he's downright rude. He forgets about things
like good manners and introductions. I'm Charley Pollard, and he's the
LAVISH: Eleanor Lavish. I can't say he's any worse than some of them
that have made it here recently. At least he's made an effort to dress
up in a dignified fashion. Most of them wear their carnival costumes
all day and night, and lie about in drunken stupors.
DOCTOR: We aren't revellers. Well, not usually.
CHARLEY: The Doctor has got this scientific curiosity.
DOCTOR: I'm curious about all sorts of things. I'm interested in
why people would flock to a place that is about to be destroyed. I
mean, what must be going through their minds? They must have a very
LAVISH: A last look at the frescos? Perhaps they want to loot the
Treasuries that are already slipping beneath the waves. Maybe they all
have a death wish, and want to enact it in the most glamorous place
they can conceive of. I think that all of the above are true.
CHARLEY: Why are you here?
LAVISH: I am too old to go gallivanting off. This is where I belong.
DOCTOR: There'll be nothing here soon. It'll turn back into the
lagoon it once was.
LAVISH: I can hardly wait. I'll get some peace. I'll find myself
some opulent ballroom, and watch the chandeliers grow extravagant
beards of lichen and weed, and the monstrous fish take up residence in
the sepuchral boudoirs of ancient princesses.
DOCTOR: Put that way, it sounds rather nice.
CHARLEY: But you'll be dead! You'll drown!
LAVISH: Everything I have is here. I don't have the time to start up
elsewhere. No, far better that I slip quietly below the surface with
the rest of my life.
CHARLEY: Thanks, Doctor.
DOCTOR: What have I done?
CHARLEY: You were supposed to bring me somewhere gorgeous on
holiday. We were supposed to get out of that Gothic nightmare of a ship
of yours to somewhere lovely. This is worse than ever. You've brought
me somewhere horrible where everyone wants to die.
LAVISH: I was only telling you what you wanted to know. If you want
cheering up, talk to some of the revellers. They seem to be having a
nice enough time. If that's the kind of shallow person you are. I did
think you seemed a rather more sensible young lady.
CHARLEY: I am. All I meant was, I didn't expect to be here
in the middle of some ghastly natural disaster, that's all.
LAVISH: There isn't anything natural about it, my dear.
DOCTOR: Venice has been sinking for years. It was always on the
LAVISH: On the cards. Oh, that's rich. That's very good. No. That
gradual process of the water's crepitation, and the very natural decay
of a metropolis built on the murky waters of a lagoon, that isn't what
we're talking about. Venice will die because of the curse.
DOCTOR: Ah yes. Now we're getting to it. Okay, Charley, do you want
to ask her or shall I?
CHARLEY: Oh, you do it, Doctor. You know you love it.
DOCTOR: Right. So tell me, Ms Lavish. What curse?
LAVISH: Hah! That's as much as you'll get, my dears. I've said, as
usual, far too much. But perhaps you will hear from me again. Yes, I'm
sure that we will bump into each other again as the situation, the
cataclysm we might say, worsens. But I have told you quite enough for
DOCTOR: Wait. Where are you going?
LAVISH: We have to keep on the move, we last few denizens. We
haven't the time to stand around moping. You will learn this. There
will be time enough afterwards to loll about, when we're all with the
fishes. For now, there are things to be looking at, a whole city to
comb through, each nook and cranny, for the very last time. I suggest
the two of you get moving.
(Footsteps and her voice fades.)
CHARLEY: She's crazy. Completely out of her tree.
DOCTOR: Riddled, and mildewed as the stone and wood and everything
else around us. All of it rotten and senseless.
CHARLEY: Thank you, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, come on. Let's get out of here, You heard what she said.
There's a party going on out there. A last desperate carnival, one
really fantastic apocalyptic knees-up. Would you consider missing that
for all the world?
CHARLEY: No, I don't suppose I would.
DOCTOR: Let's go then, Charley. I want to have a good old poke
around. Now, what we need is transport.
ORSINO: I haven't the time to argue with you, Churchwell.
(Church bells ringing and the faint sound of a crowd.)
ORSINO: Look out there. They're swarming in the streets. They're
massing in the hundreds, in their gaudy finery, all for the final night
of the carnival.
CHURCHWELL: I know, Your Grace. But we have a responsibility, do we
not, to those who come after us? To rescue the treasures Your Grace has
accrued over the years. We ought to make sure they survive our
ORSINO: Our what, Churchwell? Our deaths? You're right, of course you
are. All of that lot out there, everyone downstairs in the State Room
and the ballroom, all will perish within the next twenty four hours.
None of us will stand the slightest chance. It seems rather academic,
may I say, to agitate and fulminate over the fate of a few objects and
CHURCHWELL: A few paintings? Your Grace, you entrusted me with the care
of your collection, and that is simply what I am attempting, to the
best of my meagre abilities, to do. We have to ship your delectable
heirlooms out of the city before it is too late. We have to do it for
the sake of future generations. This is art we're talking about.
ORSINO: I never had any stomach for art.
CHURCHWELL: But your forebears did. Your Estella did. That is why your
collection is so important.
ORSINO: Anyhow, the last boats have gone. You know that. This late in
the game, anything that was going to be salvaged has already been
taken. Everything left, including each and every one of ourselves, is
doomed. Leave me, dear Churchwell. It's ever so sweet to see you worked
up like this, but to be honest, you're boring me now.
CHURCHWELL: You cannot bring Estella back, Your Grace. No matter how
much you hope, it will not happen tonight.
ORSINO: Don't tell me what can and cannot happen, Churchwell! You are
my curator. You are not the arbiter of possibility. Leave me. Return to
your gallery. Or better, descend with me to the State Room, and attend
CHURCHWELL: I may, Your Grace. But I want to see the collection again
before I do.
ORSINO: (sigh) Go, then.
CHARLEY: Doctor, I think I've changed my mind.
DOCTOR: You have?
CHARLEY: I've decided to enjoy myself. All right, so you've
brought me somewhere that's on the brink of calamity, as usual, and
we'll be lucky to get out by the skin of our teeth, but it's still
beautiful. It's still
DOCTOR: It's still Venice. It's somewhere fantastic, dreamlike, but
it's doomed apotheosis.
CHARLEY: Mmm, something like that.
DOCTOR: See, I knew you'd cheer up once we were out on the canals.
CHARLEY: Oh, it's quite amazing. Our gondolier has even got
webbed fingers and toes.
DOCTOR: I wondered if you'd noticed that.
CHARLEY: And he's got a remarkable physique.
DOCTOR: I'll snooze, I think, while you chat him up.
CHARLEY: Only you could snooze on the Day of Judgement.
DOCTOR: Mmm. Actually, I'm lying back here in the depths of
melancholic thought. I think just as you cheered up, I caught a chill
CHARLEY: Oh, wonderful.
PIETRO: (laugh) You two aren't like the others.
CHARLEY: Oh. You were listening.
(Revellers noises in the background.)
PIETRO: I am Pietro.
CHARLEY: Charley. And he's the Doctor, asleep over there.
DOCTOR: Not asleep, thinking. Having profound thoughts.
CHARLEY: Of course, Doctor. Tell me, how are we different,
PIETRO: Not drunk. Not laughing. You're both respectful. You do know
CHARLEY: We've been told.
PIETRO: Mmm, everyone knows what's happening to our city. That's why
they come here, the revellers. They take the city from us. They don't
respect us. I like you, Charley, for that fact alone. The city belongs
to us, and you share our mourning. And your friend, he seems
CHARLEY: He is.
DOCTOR: I was here when it was still being built, when it still
smelled like a swamp. Smell now. It smells of damp wool. There's still
a trace of
the primordial world beneath. A foretaste. Yes, I've been here again
and again, Pietro. I'm here to pay my respects.
CHARLEY: What will you do,
you get away?
PIETRO: I'll be here. All the canal people will still be here. The city
will be ours again when it returns to the water. We're waiting for it
DOCTOR: Yes, of course. I can see how you might be. Oh, we're here.
Pietro, could you?
DOCTOR: This museum, a fine collection, as I remember.
DOCTOR: Yes, Charley, art.
CHARLEY: I thought we were looking for a party. I'm not sure I
want to look at some old pictures.
DOCTOR: Surrealist paintings, actually, in one of my favourite
spots. There's a fantastic trattoria nearby, run by a bunch of the most
PIETRO: Ah. They've fled.
DOCTOR: Oh. Never mind. Come along, Charley. If I remember rightly,
they've got all sorts of things by René Magritte, Max Ernst, people
from your era.
LAVISH: Rabble and scum. That's all we'll see until the end. Those two
weren't any different. Not really. They're probably here to join the
cult. They probably are a cult all by themselves. Expecting the place
to rise to its former glories, all of its own accord, magically. There
isn't any such thing as magic, Doctor, Charley. Nothing is going to
happen here. The pattern is set, more's the pity.
CHURCHWELL: It's most irregular, you know. It's most irregular indeed.
DOCTOR: I'm an irregular kind of guy.
CHURCHWELL: We don't open for private showings. This is the Duke's
DOCTOR: He won't mind. We're old friends.
DOCTOR: No. Do you know, I used to be terribly good at
name-dropping and bluffing my way into places, and these days I can't
do it for toffee. Oh, go on, Mister Churchwell. Let me see the
pictures. Just me.
CHURCHWELL: How do you know my name?
DOCTOR: It's on your badge. But your mother, it was she who
fostered your love of painting, wasn't it? Who didn't laugh like your
father did when they found you had no talent of your own? Who
encouraged you to study and get your PhD, hmm?
CHURCHWELL: How could you possibly know about me?
DOCTOR: I know about all sorts of things, Francis Churchwell. More
than you could imagine. Now, let the dog see the rabbit.
CHURCHWELL: I should be pleased, really. No one else will ever see
these things again. The Duke himself has no interest. Soon they'll all
be rotting under the sea.
DOCTOR: But that's terrible. What can he be thinking of? He's very
lucky to have a good man like you as his curator. A man of integrity
and vision, whose love of art above all else makes him stay here in
this city, on the brink of collapse.
CHURCHWELL: Hmm. I'll give you my special deluxe guided tour. You're a
man of intellect and discrimination, obviously. Do walk this way.
PIETRO: Ah. You've left your Doctor friend. Looking at his paintings,
CHARLEY: I wanted to talk to you more. I want to know more.
PIETRO: You're curious, Charley, but we gondoliers aren't
meant to speak with revellers. It's always been like that.
CHARLEY: I don't care. I'm no snob. Where can we go to talk?
PIETRO: It's too open here. There is a place, nearby, where my people
rest. Quickly, come with me.
CHARLEY: What's the hurry?
PIETRO: Look. Them.
CHARLEY: Who are they?
PIETRO: You don't want to get caught up with them, Charley. Best keep
away from that set. They're the Cult of Estella. Grave robbers and
fanatics. Him at the head, in the black head dress, the one looking so
superior, he's their High Priest Vincenzo. A nasty piece of work.
VINCENZO: Search everywhere, you fools. It must be here on the left
bank. We have only hours remaining. It is the last thing we need. And
then, then we shall see. Then we can show them all.
CHARLEY: Thanks, Pietro. Are they dangerous? They look horrible.
PIETRO: You don't want to cross them. Let them go by. Then we'll meet
with the others.
VINCENZO: Search everywhere. Keep searching. Until I give the order
otherwise, search, search!
CHARLEY: They've gone.
PIETRO: I don't know what they're doing here.
People say the cult has its base here on the left bank, but no-one
knows where. It isn't often they're seen in daylight, parading in their
CHARLEY: Mmm, they're certainly up to something.
CHURCHWELL: The Duke Orsino's much-prized reserved collection of
unattributed paintings. I had them hung so we could take one last look.
DOCTOR: They're marvellous. Unattributed, you say? I like this one
with all the volcanoes and the foxes running around in their smart
little outfits. And this one of the lady in the great big glass jar.
CHURCHWELL: Mmm. That is from the Duke's grandfather's collection.
DOCTOR: It's criminal, the idea that all of these things will be
CHURCHWELL: I have given up hope now. When the time comes, I will seal
myself in the vault with the reserved reserved collection of erotic
DOCTOR: It can't be as bad as all that, surely?
CHURCHWELL: Oh, it is good to meet a true lover of art before the end.
DOCTOR: Why has the Duke lost interest?
CHURCHWELL: Oh All he can be bothered about is the loss of
great love Estella.
DOCTOR: Walked out on him, did she?
CHURCHWELL: One hundred years ago precisely.
DOCTOR: I see. She must have been, what do you call it? Very
CHURCHWELL: Mmm, she was famed and lauded. Venice's last true Queen.
left him and cursed this whole city.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid I don't believe in curses.
CHURCHWELL: A rationalist?
DOCTOR: Not exactly. I just look for the best in people. Why would
anyone curse a city where they were loved?
CHURCHWELL: If one is betrayed, one is apt to do all sorts of things.
DOCTOR: Is there a portrait of the famed Estella? I'd like to see
CHURCHWELL: No portrait exists.
DOCTOR: I can't believe that. The artists of this country have
always loved producing portraits of their famous ladies. I remember
Isabella d'Este when she was nineteen, demanding that Titian do her
one. And Leonardo knock out a quick sketch. And then she had Agostino
Barbarigo work for years on her likeness. Surely someone
CHURCHWELL: Never. She wouldn't have it. Her beauty was ineffable. You
sound almost like the cultists, Doctor. They have besieged me for
years. As this hundredth anniversary of her leaving has approached,
they are convinced we hoard Estella's likeness somewhere here, Because
they worship her in their infernal ceremonies, they believe they have a
claim on such an object.
DOCTOR: Cultists, eh? I don't much like the sound of that.
CHURCHWELL: A gang of superstitious misfits, obsessed with bringing her
back from the dead.
DOCTOR: You think she's dead?
CHURCHWELL: A hundred years have passed.
DOCTOR: Yet you claimed the Duke has lived that long and is living
CHURCHWELL: That is the nature of his curse. To live a hundred years
unchanging, and learn to regret her loss.
DOCTOR: I see.
CHURCHWELL: You really don't know much about us, do you, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Hmm. I know one thing. This painting here. I think I've
seen it before.
CHURCHWELL: The one with the volcanoes and the foxes in overcoats?
DOCTOR: It's not exactly surrealist. It's simply out of its
context. I saw it far from here. Very far. You know, it shouldn't be on
this world at all.
CHURCHWELL: Really, Doctor. Er, come. I think our tour has reached its
DOCTOR: Churchwell, listen to me, please. What if I were to tell
you that these treasures of yours needn't perish with the city after
all? What if I told you I have the means to remove them and get them
safely away. What would you say then?
CHURCHWELL: But the last boats have gone, Doctor. Only the dregs of
us remain here. The exits to the lagoon have been sealed.
DOCTOR: Nevertheless, I have the means. I have a ship.
CHURCHWELL: But you can't have
DOCTOR: It's called the Tardis. It's trustworthy and watertight,
and she's my oldest friend in the world.
CHURCHWELL: We'd have heard if there was still a boat berthed here. We
DOCTOR: Like me, Churchwell, the Tardis is extremely discreet.
CHURCHWELL: And you would help me?
DOCTOR: Of course. I. Hang on, where's Charley?
DOCTOR: The girl I came in with. She was just behind me.
CHURCHWELL: You came in alone, Doctor. I saw no one else.
CHURCHWELL: Doctor, wait! You must tell me. Where is this ship you told
DOCTOR: (distant) Charley?
(Conversation in the background.)
PIETRO: You're honoured, Charley. We don't usually allow anyone other
than family members into this place.
CHARLEY: It's a bit shabby, isn't it?
PIETRO: It's where we rest. And where we. Everyone thinks the
Gondoliers are beaten into submission, that we're merely servants, a
dull but sentient form of free public transport. But here, we gather
CHARLEY: I'm glad to hear it. But everyone looks half dead.
PIETRO: We're in a time of decadence and lethargy, what do you expect?
We've been ground under the heel of a Duke who's ruled for a hundred
years. A maligned self-indulgent Duke.
CHARLEY: Well, Pietro, that's my interest in sense of social
justice piqued. Honestly Doctor, how do you always manage to get me
embroiled like this? And meanwhile, I suppose he's off having his own
(Chair being moved.)
PIETRO: Sit down, Charley, and I'll tell you our history.
(Church bells still going full tilt.)
DOCTOR: Charley! No sign of her. The gondola's still here.
CHURCHWELL: It's almost dark. This is the last dusk we'll see. Doctor,
you must help me.
DOCTOR: Look, Churchwell, it was very kind of me and all to show me
round your pictures, but my friend has gone missing now, and I really.
I'm sorry, but I don't have time to listen to your tales of curses and
CHURCHWELL: He gambled her away in a game of cards. He staked the thing
he valued most, and he lost her. He has had a century to regret what he
DOCTOR: I'm sure it's a terrible and tragic tale and everything,
but I have to be going.
CHURCHWELL: Some say Estella committed suicide thereafter by flinging
herself into the Grand Canal, but with her dying breath, cursed him and
this city to a hundred years more life. The Duke Orsino would live a
century unaged, as indeed he has, tortured with grief and remorse.
DOCTOR: I'm not surprised. Flung herself into the Grand Canal, did
CHURCHWELL: Wearing her wedding dress.
(Conversations in background.)
PIETRO: And we Gondoliers believe that the Duke searches for his
beloved's remains. He does this secretly, by night. He sends his spies
all over the dwindling city, and he hopes that he might bring her to
life again, and so lift her curse.
CHARLEY: Bring her to life? He thinks he can do that?
PIETRO: We believe the Duke thinks he can.
CHARLEY: Wouldn't that be the best thing? If the sentence of
doom was lifted then you could all carry on as before.
PIETRO: We gondoliers don't want things to carry
on as before. Why would we? Would you want to be subjugated and used by
a decadent aristocracy?
CHARLEY: Mmm, I see your point.
PIETRO: No. We wait, patiently for the end. We want the curse to be
played out. We want the city to meet its watery
fate. And then, it will be ours again.
(Walking in streets, bells ringing in the distance.)
DOCTOR: Where is she? I should never have let her out of my sight.
CHURCHWELL: The revellers will be massing soon for the final masque.
You will never find her in these streets.
DOCTOR: I have to try. I brought her here. I was promising her a
holiday and a lovely time, and I've gone and lost her. The last place I
took her to was no picnic either, shifty and awful.
CHURCHWELL: Venice is alive with desperation and villainy of all kinds.
It teems with thieves and assassins. It isn't safe for us out here.
Come back with me to the museum.
DOCTOR: I can't. I only just managed to get us away alive from the
last place in the nick of time. I'd never forgive myself if something
CHURCHWELL: The cultists will be out on the streets by now. They know I
work for the Duke. They have pledged to destroy everything he holds
dear. It isn't safe for me, Doctor!
DOCTOR: You're very jumpy, Churchwell. You're starting to make me a
CHURCHWELL: Venice teaches you to watch your back, Doctor.
(Conversation in the background.)
CHARLEY: Look, Pietro, I must get back to the Doctor. It's late.
PIETRO: We need you, Charley. It's no accident we met.
CHARLEY: Oh, yes?
PIETRO: The revellers are all waiting for Estella to return, and the
Duke strives to produce her for them. We need to put an end to his
strivings. My people are content to wait for their just rewards. I,
however, think we need to do something more. And you've come to me,
wanting to help our cause.
CHARLEY: How can I help with that? What do you want me to do,
PIETRO: Go to him. He needs a decoy. Someone who can inveigle herself
into the Palace, and his affections. You need to distract him as the
city tears herself apart.
CHARLEY: It would have to be a rather large distraction to make
him miss that.
PIETRO: We need you to become Estella, reincarnated. This you can do
CHARLEY: Don't be ridiculous. I'm going.
PIETRO: You will do this for us, Charley. You will become the
embodiment of the Duke's beloved.
CHURCHWELL: Doctor. Ooh! I've got palpitations. I'm not up to
this. Tearing off into the night like this. Haven't a clue where we
are now. I don't recognise anything.
DOCTOR: Round here. Follow me. Now, my geography's sketchy,
naturally, I mean after everywhere I've been it would be, wouldn't it?
But I've got a fantastic nose for finding my way blindly,
CHURCHWELL: That doesn't look right, does it?
DOCTOR: It can't be a dead end. We should be back at the canal.
CHURCHWELL: I'm afraid the city loops back and orders itself out of
capriciousness. The sea fog comes in and corrupts the topography at
will. Every schoolchild knows that!
DOCTOR: Well, maybe if we just double back, and
CHURCHWELL: We could have stayed in the museum! It was safe there. I
wish I'd locked myself in the vault in the first place. Why didn't you
help me, Doctor? Why didn't you bring your ship and help me get my
DOCTOR: I'm sorry, it's too late for that. Churchwell, look.
CHURCHWELL: Cultists. They've found us.
VINCENZO: Churchwell, at last.
CHURCHWELL: They've got us, Doctor!
DOCTOR: Now, wait you lot. Don't do anything hasty.
CHURCHWELL: You can't reason with the likes of them.
VINCENZO: So, we have you, on the eve of the anniversary of the Lady
Estella's death. Can't you see how it was all meant to be? Guards?
Render them both unconscious, would you? We have you now, and it will
be your honour to bear witness
to her resurrection!
(Churchwell groans. Dripping water in background.)
CHURCHWELL: You have led me straight into their hands.
DOCTOR: What? Oh, I don't believe this. Locked up again.
CHURCHWELL: You aren't part of the cult by any chance, are you?
DOCTOR: That sort of thing has never appealed much. Too many rules.
It's all a bit solemn. Going around in robes and things, chanting?
That's not for me.
CHURCHWELL: But you have managed to deliver me straight into their lair.
DOCTOR: We're in their lair, are we? How fascinating. Mind you, it
looks like a hundred other lairs I've been in. Dust, brick wells, old
blankets, damp. I bet there are a few old rats in here too just for
CHURCHWELL: No one knows where this is. We could be anywhere.
DOCTOR: Knocked out, blindfolded, banged up in a cellar. It's all
par for the course.
CHURCHWELL: Not for me it's not!
DOCTOR: Feels like we're under sea level. My ears are doing funny
things. Are yours?
CHURCHWELL: My ears are still ringing.
DOCTOR: We're definitely under sea level. Can't you feel the
tension in the air? This isn't exactly the safest place to be tonight.
CHURCHWELL: By morning we'll all be under sea level, if we don't get
our throats slit first!
DOCTOR: Come on then. I think you should tell me, what are they
CHURCHWELL: The portrait. They think I know where the portrait of
Estella is hidden.
DOCTOR: But you told me it didn't exist.
CHURCHWELL: It doesn't! But how do you convince a bunch of fanatics of
DOCTOR: I can see your problem. I wouldn't fancy a crowd like that
dogging my footsteps.
CHURCHWELL: I've managed to keep out of their way for years. It's why I
never went out into the city at night.
DOCTOR: At least you're confronting your fears now. Why do they
want the picture anyway? Would it be worth going to all this bother?
CHURCHWELL: It would to them. They're frightfully mixed up in
necromancy and arcane law. They believe the portrait will give them the
key to resurrecting the Duke's beloved. They think they can do this
DOCTOR: There's a breeze.
CHURCHWELL: It doesn't matter if we catch a chill. We'll all be dead
(Sounds of effort from the Doctor, and something crumbling. Bricks are
DOCTOR: No, I mean there's a breeze coming through a passageway.
I've found our way out.
CHURCHWELL: I'll never get through that.
DOCTOR: Yes, you will. I'll help you, Churchwell. Come on. Think of
it as a whole new aesthetic experience.
(Grunts from both.)
(Distant ritual chanting.)
DOCTOR: The distant sound of ceremonials. I wonder if they're into
sacrifice as well? They usually are, that type.
CHURCHWELL: No one is quite sure what they get
DOCTOR: Then let's go and find out.
VOICES: (whispers overlapping and repeating) We must hold
the ceremonials at first light. The carnival will reach its
moments without us. Together at last. I am here, my
must take me, my Lord. I am returned to you. I am
here to marry
you once more.
CHARLEY: Oh. What did you make me drink?
PIETRO: Nothing that will harm you. Just something to make you see
things from our point of view.
CHARLEY: I was already sympathetic. You didn't have to drug me.
PIETRO: Oh. Look, Charley. Look at the Palace, lighting up the canal.
The final great ball has begun. What do you think of your gown, your
mask? Are you surprised we peasants can conjure up such finery, even
down to the jewelled slippers? This apparel has waited for you for just
this night. We kept it ready for you through the long generations.
We fished it from the water. Estella's very own wedding dress, and kept
it prepared for this night.
CHARLEY: Thank you, but you needn't have bothered.
PIETRO: We're almost ready. Compose yourself now. You have a Duke to
impress. We are here. Let me take your arm. Can't you smell disaster in
the air? The
whole city knows this is its last night on Earth.
CHARLEY: I don't even know what I'm supposed to do.
PIETRO: I'll lead you into the State Room, where no doubt the Duke sits
lugubriously on his golden throne surrounded by his giggling lackeys
and Myrmidons. I'll present you to him, they'll draw back in horror and
surprise, and when you see him, you will find the words.
CHARLEY: You're quite sure of that, are you?
PIETRO: Don't talk now. Relax into the drug. They're all so keen for
Estella to reappear, they'll seize upon you immediately. You in this
dress, masked in this fashion. The very image of his missing beloved.
Come now, follow me.
(The whispers resume.)
DOCTOR: It doesn't feel too safe down here. The walls are creaking
like they're ready to burst.
CHURCHWELL: We're not going to make it out of this, are we?
DOCTOR: What kind of attitude is that? Of course we are. I've been
in much worse scrapes than this, you know.
CHURCHWELL: Well, I haven't.
DOCTOR: Oh, just enjoy it. You've no idea.
CHURCHWELL: We should have stayed where we were, where they'd left us.
They'll be furious to find out we've gone.
DOCTOR: In my experience, they never are. In the end, the people
locking you up prefer it if they can chase after you. They love it. It
provides an excuse for them to come back and rough you up a bit, you
CHURCHWELL: It all seems hopeless.
DOCTOR: Existential angst, eh?
CHURCHWELL: A bit.
DOCTOR: It is exciting though, isn't it? Really. Deep down you must
feel a bit excited.
DOCTOR: Well, here we are at the very end of Venice. We're being
hunted through the night, we're in a tunnel, there are secrets here
somewhere, danger and rats.
CHURCHWELL: You do this kind of thing a lot, don't you?
DOCTOR: Most of the time.
CHURCHWELL: You're a very strange man, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Someone has to do it. Someone has to poke their noses into
CHURCHWELL: Why? Why can't you leave well alone?
DOCTOR: Because if I didn't, everything would just go on the same.
This whole situation with everything just sinking into the water and
you lot giving in, it's the perfect metaphor. I can't bear it. You you
have to struggle, you have to make it better. There's corruption
here, there's a whiff of something wrong.
CHURCHWELL: And you're the man to sort it out.
DOCTOR: Every time.
CHURCHWELL: You'll get yourself killed.
CHURCHWELL: You're some kind of neurotic addict, aren't you?
DOCTOR: Certainly not, I just don't like nastiness and people
getting away with it.
CHURCHWELL: That sounds a rather, if you'll forgive me, innocent view.
DOCTOR: That's as maybe, but I'm sticking to it. It's got me this
CHURCHWELL: Where are you from, Doctor, really?
DOCTOR: A place not too dissimilar to here. Ah. Here we are.
There's an opening.
(Walking, music playing in the background.)
PIETRO: Look at them, Charley, feasting, drinking, and below their very
feet the water is rising. As far as this rabble is concerned, my people
are already dead. What do they care?
CHARLEY: Pietro, what have you done to me? I have no control
over my legs, my whole body. It's like being inside someone else's mind.
PIETRO: You have to do this.
CHARLEY: This Duke, what's he like?
PIETRO: A weak man. An indulgent man. He's lorded it over all of us for
CHARLEY: And you'll just offer me up to him, just like that.
PIETRO: I have to, Charley. My people don't all agree. They think this
is foolhardy. But any chance we get, we must grasp it. And you must do
this for us.
CHARLEY: But I've been your friend. I've tried to understand.
PIETRO: We can't afford to regard anyone as friends.
CHARLEY: I trusted you.
PIETRO: I don't believe in trust. Why should I? I mean, what am I to
them? Just some lowly gondolier, a lower form of life. One fit merely
to carry people about the place and serve them. Since when did trust
CHARLEY: You're pushing me into the lion's den. You're handing
me over to them.
PIETRO: I have to. But I will stay with you. You've listened. You care
what becomes of us.
CHARLEY: What is he going to do with me?
PIETRO: I don't know.
CHARLEY: What do I say to him?
PIETRO: Shush. We're near the State Room. We're almost there.
CHARLEY: Pietro, tell me what to do.
PIETRO: You'll know. The drug will take possession of you. Just repeat
what you hear in your mind. No harm will come to you.
CHARLEY: You can promise that, can you?
PIETRO: Truthfully? No, I can't. But by tomorrow morning, all who live
on land are likely to be dead anyway.
CHARLEY: Oh. I was forgetting that. Oh Doctor, how did you get
me into this?
PIETRO: In all likelihood your friend'll be long gone by now.
CHARLEY: He would never leave me.
PIETRO: He would if he had any sense. This city has become a poisonous
place. Now, be quiet. Be still. Let the drug work its magic. For all
our sakes, allow yourself to become Estella.
(Moving about, grunting. The sound of ticking.)
CHURCHWELL: You've found us another prison cell. Well done. I'm tired,
Doctor. I'm an old man. I expected to die quietly with dignity tonight,
not on an assault course in the underground den of a horde of religious
DOCTOR: I don't think it's a cell. Look. It's more like a mausoleum.
CHURCHWELL: You're right. This is gold. A golden casket. Tell me that
isn't a bomb.
DOCTOR: No, indeed. Look. It's a clock, counting down the hours.
CHURCHWELL: What have we walked into?
DOCTOR: I rather think that, with my usual combination of
insouciance and hapless bravado, I've led us straight into the
cultists' holy of holies.
CHURCHWELL: Oh, Mother of God!
DOCTOR: And do you know what I think is in this casket?
CHURCHWELL: Don't touch it!
DOCTOR: Now who's superstitious, Churchwell? You're as bad as that
chanting lot out there. It's only a coffin, there's only a corpse
CHURCHWELL: Doctor, don't!
DOCTOR: No, we've come this far. Look what we've found. Now, give
me a hand, I want to get this thing open.
PIETRO: Almost there, Charley. Listen as they all cry out. They gasp as
much at the presence of a lowly gondolier in their midst, a stinking
amphibian, as much as they gasp at you.
CHARLEY: Don't pull me along. I can walk by myself.
PIETRO: Duke Orsino, listen to me. I've brought you a gift.
PIETRO: Orsino, listen to me.
ORSINO: What is this creature? How does he dare to present himself
PIETRO: Look at who this creature has brought before you, Orsino.
ORSINO: Have the wretched hobgoblin removed. Throw him into the canal.
(Sudden moving forwards.)
PIETRO: Get your guards away from me. I've a knife placed ready at her
ORSINO: What do I care?
PIETRO: Look at her, Orsino.
ORSINO: A woman in a mask. There are hundreds here in Venice tonight.
Why should I be held to ransom for the sake of one? I have my pick.
PIETRO: Now, Charley, it's time.
CHARLEY: Listen to him, Orsino. All of you, listen to me. Yes,
you know me. I have returned, beloved. You know me now, don't you? Not
quite as I was then, perhaps, but my essence has returned. I waited so
long to be born again.
CHARLEY: That is whom you are all waiting for, isn't it? That
is whom you are praying for? Then why do you look so shocked? Look.
This dress. Is it not the dress I married you in?
ORSINO: It, it, it can't be you.
CHARLEY: You want me to forgive you. That's why you want me
back before you, so I can tell you I don't mind that you lost me in a
game of cards like you would a servant or a horse.
ORSINO: Be quiet, my love. Don't, don't. Let us talk about this in
CHARLEY: Everyone must hear, Orsino. Everyone must know that I
forgive you, and that I have come back for you.
(Grating of stone.)
CHURCHWELL: I think we should leave it alone, Doctor.
DOCTOR: No, one more good shove should do it.
CHURCHWELL: But it's her tomb. Oh!
DOCTOR: Yes, it doesn't smell very nice, does it?
CHURCHWELL: What have we done? What have you made me do? This is
desecration. They'll murder us.
DOCTOR: Stop backing away. Come back. We have to see, Churchwell. Look.
We've found her.
CHURCHWELL: Her? Are you sure?
DOCTOR: It has to be.
CHURCHWELL: This is like a dream.
DOCTOR: Most things are in my experience. Now, take my arm, look
CHURCHWELL: (gasps) There's nothing but dust inside. Nothing.
DOCTOR: She's already gone.
CHURCHWELL: Crumbled into nothing?
DOCTOR: No. Removed. Someone's taken her away, every scrap of her,
(Clinking of metal chain.)
CHURCHWELL: Those are her jewels, her necklace.
DOCTOR: They're fantastic.
CHURCHWELL: It really was her tomb, wasn't it?
DOCTOR: It sort of looks like that, doesn't it? Here. Help me put
this lid thing back. I'll take the baubles for safe keeping.
(Grating of stone. Door opens.)
VINCENZO: They are here. They are here in this sacred tomb.
DOCTOR: Oh, great.
VINCENZO: Guards, take them.
(Drawing of swords.)
VINCENZO: No. Do not kill them yet.
DOCTOR: This isn't how it looks.
VINCENZO: And how does it look, Doctor?
DOCTOR: I mean, we were just exploring and we happened upon
this funny little room, and
VINCENZO: It rather looks to me that you desecrated our Lady's resting
DOCTOR: Have we? Is it?
VINCENZO: This casket. I can't believe even you two are so dim not to
have noticed the golden sarcophagus containing her sublime, immortal
DOCTOR: Oh! Would you look at that. I'd completely overlooked it.
Did you see it, Churchwell?
CHURCHWELL: Er, yes.
VINCENZO: You will be put to death for this.
DOCTOR: That's rather harsh.
CHURCHWELL: They're cultists. I told you they're funny like that.
VINCENZO: You have a chance. We are not as intractable as you might
think. I shall offer you a choice, the lesser of two evils.
DOCTOR: You've no right to treat us like this, you know.
VINCENZO: I shall treat you howsoever I desire, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh, go on, then. What's the choice you're offering us?
Something crazed and dreary, I expect.
VINCENZO: Either we put you to a painful death now, or you go to beard
the Duke Orsino in his depraved den.
CHURCHWELL: You want us to do your dirty work for you.
DOCTOR: Top marks, Churchwell. Fanatics never want to get their
hands dirty. It's why they always wear gloves.
VINCENZO: If you retrieve the missing portrait of our Lady Estella from
the Ducal palace, and bring that revered object back to us, we will
allow you to live, and see the dawning of our marvellous new era.
CHURCHWELL: Oh, you fools. I've told you again and again, no such
DOCTOR: Of course it exists. You told me you saw it, Churchwell.
You told me yourself. It was hanging up in the Ducal apartments.
CHURCHWELL: Doctor, why are you lying to them? I said no such thing.
DOCTOR: You did. You said it was as portraits go, rather nice.
VINCENZO: We knew that you were lying. We knew the portrait was there
for the taking. Your friend has betrayed you, Churchwell.
DOCTOR: Yes, I do seem to have done that, don't I?
VINCENZO: Now, I command you to infiltrate the foolish Duke's
sacrilegious ball, and bring us back the portrait. You have two hours.
Go! Guards, show them the way.
(Seizing and pushing.)
ORSINO: Return to your entertainments. Fools. Leave us to talk. Gorge
yourselves and dance. And when you are finally sated, then you may look
upon your Duke.
MUSICIAN: Uno, due
ORSINO: You, old woman. Why do you stand staring at me like that?
Don't you understand me? I said, leave us.
LAVISH: Forgive me, Your Grace. I'm Eleanor Lavish. I was given to
understand that your guests could come and go as they pleased in the
Palace this evening, tonight of all nights.
ORSINO: You try my patience, old woman.
LAVISH: I am only here to pay my respects, my Lord.
ORSINO: Nevertheless, I have business to attend to, with this troll
PIETRO: And the Duke's beloved, the reincarnation of his lost Duchess,
ORSINO: Why should I listen to you? A troglodyte, a web-footed
scavenger. Who are you to return her to me?
PIETRO: You know the legend.
ORSINO: Put about by those demented priests, who claim they worship my
beloved. What do they know?
PIETRO: They did say Estella would return on this night, brought into
your realm by the lowliest of the low. Hmph. I'm the lowliest here,
obviously. Pietro, at your service.
ORSINO: Estella? Is it really you?
CHARLEY: It is, my Lord.
ORSINO: You recognise me? You forgive me?
PIETRO: My Lady will be satisfied with nothing less than your plighting
yourself to her once more. You must believe in her, Orsino. You must
marry her again at dawn in full sight of your people.
ORSINO: No. It's a trick. It's all some ghastly trick. You can't be
Estella, after all this time. I'm not sure I'd recognise her, even if
she did come traipsing back in here in gilded jewelled slippers.
CHARLEY: I am here, Lord.
ORSINO: I'm an old man. I may not look it, because of the curse you
placed on my head, but inside, my mind is as frangible and decayed as
any of the Palaces along the Grand Canal. Of course, I'd seize at the
chance of your forgiving me. I've grown so weary of this hideously
prolonged life of mine. I've even dreamed of dying naturally, at last,
when this night came. Of course, I would pray that you'd return, as the
cultists always warned. I prayed that we would find each other again,
be able to die at last, blissfully, together. But, can it be you?
PIETRO: Can you take the chance that it isn't?
ORSINO: What do you mean, toad?
PIETRO: If you reject her, my Lord, then what will happen? Look about
you. These revellers, this horde of pleasure-hungry dilettantes.
They're only here to see the fulfilment of the curse, and to discover
whether the legends are true. What will happen if they're not appeased?
Can you imagine an end to this affair in the dawn, in which there's no
climax, no wonderful dénouement? Ms Lavish, wouldn't you be
LAVISH: I never truly believed the legend. But even so, I would be
PIETRO: Hmph. Listen to the people of your city, Orsino. Even this old
woman has an opinion.
ORSINO: I see what you mean.
(The voices whisper to Charley, and she repeats what they say.)
CHARLEY: You must take me, my Lord. We must hold the
ceremonials at first light. The carnival must reach its final moment
with us together at last, to appease the masked rabble you've assembled.
ORSINO: But are you she? I must know for sure.
CHARLEY: All that matters is that I am convincing. I must
convince them or they will turn on you. Isn't that what you have
fretted over, more than your desire to actually see me again?
CHARLEY: Selfish as ever, my Lord. Nevertheless, you will marry
PIETRO: I don't see that you have much choice.
ORSINO: Then I have found you, reborn. I no longer need to scour
the city for your mortal remains. Your old body can go to the fishes
for all I care. I have you at last. Estella.
CHARLEY: You have.
ORSINO: We must prepare for the nuptials. You remember where your
apartments are, of course?
CHARLEY: I think I
PIETRO: I'll take her.
ORSINO: You will need help. You, old woman. You will help this lady to
prepare for the dawn.
LAVISH: Oh! So I have my uses now, do I? So now you can start
ordering me around?
ORSINO: You will do as I command. Take her. Take my beloved and her
toad, and prepare for our marriage.
LAVISH: Your beloved?
ORSINO: She has returned to me. She has come to me, with forgiveness.
(Priests chanting about Estella in the background.)
DOCTOR: At least they've got a nice laparetto. We're travelling in
style today, Churchwell.
CHURCHWELL: We're stuck with them now, Doctor. Stuck with the whole
of mad chanting priests, on a boat. All of them worshipping a body that
isn't even where they think it is.
DOCTOR: Keep your voice down. We don't want them to know, do we?
CHURCHWELL: But they must know already. They must.
DOCTOR: They wouldn't desecrate the tomb. As far as these dupes are
concerned, Estella's still inside the thing. They'll get a nasty
surprise when they expect her to come tripping out. Did you notice the
CHURCHWELL: What about it?
DOCTOR: It was ticking down the hours and the minutes to dawn.
Presumably that's when it all happens.
CHURCHWELL: We're all going to die horribly, aren't we? One way or
DOCTOR: I should never have let you get mixed up in all of this.
I've lost Charley. She could be anywhere. She isn't used to things like
this. Anything could have happened to her.
VINCENZO: Behold, the Ducal Palace.
CHURCHWELL: We have nothing to fear from the Duke, Doctor. These idiots
are taking us to safety. He's my friend. He won't betray us.
DOCTOR: How can you be so sure? I don't like what I've heard about
him so far.
CHURCHWELL: Oh, they're delivering us to safety, Doctor, I'm sure of
it. And your friend, the girl, will turn up, and you can find your
ship, the one you told me about, and we can leave this doomed city in
time with all the paintings. We can rescue the whole collection, can't
we? Can't we, Doctor? You said yourself it would be a crime if the
paintings were spoiled. We'll be safe, won't we?
DOCTOR: I'll get us all to safety, Churchwell, you'll see.
CHURCHWELL: They're taking us in. The carnival is at its height.
VINCENZO: Prepare yourselves, servants of our Lady. Make ready to set
about your tasks.
DOCTOR: Why do religious types always regale you with histrionic
comparatives? It's hard to get any kind of decent conversation out of
VINCENZO: Silence, Doctor!
DOCTOR: That's the other thing. They always shout.
DOCTOR: As if they're the only ones worth listening to. Fanatics
always get on my nerves.
CHURCHWELL: Oh, don't aggravate them, Doctor.
DOCTOR: I can't see what they want some old portrait for, anyway.
Are they very keen on art?
CHURCHWELL: I told you. There are dark powers at work here.
DOCTOR: Great. That makes me much happier. Now I'm meant to be
scared of something I don't even believe in.
(Door opens. Footsteps.)
CHARLEY: Oh, no one's been in here for years. It's thick with
dust. Look at the state of it.
LAVISH: No one's been in for exactly a hundred years, that's the
CHARLEY: You'd think they'd have kept it tidier though, Miss
Lavish. It's hardly respectful, is it?
PIETRO: We can rest here. Rest and think.
CHARLEY: Well, thank you, Pietro. Thanks for everything. What
do I do? I show a smidgen of interest in the plight of the underclass,
and what do I get in return? Held at knife point, dressed up
admittedly fabulous but impractical frock, and then I end up being
forced to marry some ancient madman as the city collapses around us.
This isn't what I would call a fantastic night out.
PIETRO: Be quiet. I have to think.
CHARLEY: Oh, yes. And you drug and hypnotise me so I end up
playing along and coming out with all kinds of nonsense. I'm not happy,
Pietro. I hope you know that.
LAVISH: You're that girl, aren't you? The one I saw in the pensione
before with that friend of yours, that drunken impertinent sot in the
green velvet coat?
CHARLEY: He wasn't drunk. That's just his way.
LAVISH: What are you doing, girl, impersonating the Duchess? Are you
mad? Do you realise what you're getting into?
PIETRO: You heard what Orsino said, old woman. He doesn't care. So long
as it convinces the people, he'll play along. What else would you
from a weak and corrupt ruler like him?
CHARLEY: Yes, but now he expects me to die along with him at
the crack of dawn, along with everyone else. Well, that's just
fantastic. You didn't tell me about that bit, did you?
PIETRO: I hadn't realised he was so corrupt and weak and
CHARLEY: Lunatic? He's a lunatic. We must all be to be here so
LAVISH: I suppose at one level, we all thought the Duke might rescue
us somehow. That the curse would be miraculously lifted. Amazing, isn't
it? We still believed in him, after everything. After a hundred years
of his self-indulgence and corruption and malignancy, we still believed
he could save us. Perhaps we all deserve to sink into the sea.
CHARLEY: Well, I am pleased you joined us on this venture, Miss
Lavish. You're really cheering me up.
LAVISH: I'm sorry, my dear. I do have these philosophical turns.
CHARLEY: They're not helping matters. We need this curse
affair, whatever it is, lifted.
PIETRO: Only the true Estella could do that.
CHARLEY: So they're expecting me to save them all. In the end,
because of the situation you've put me in, they're all going to look to
me. Pietro, what am I going to do?
(Chanting from cultists in the background.)
DOCTOR: There's something here I'm not quite piecing together,
something I've missed.
CHURCHWELL: I wouldn't worry your head.
DOCTOR: Hang on, hang on. You? Yes, you.
VINCENZO: Are you addressing me?
DOCTOR: What do you think you can accomplish with this portrait,
hmm? Or do you just want to see what the old girl looked like?
VINCENZO: You blaspheme. You are not fit to mention her name.
DOCTOR: Oh, probably not. I'd just like to know what you think you're
up to, that's all.
VINCENZO: You will do my bidding, and that is as much as you need to
DOCTOR: All right, all right. Say you manage somehow through the
forces of sorcery and devilment and so on to revive Estella from the
dead. What happens then, hmm? What's she going to do?
VINCENZO: She will save us all. She will make the city rise from the
DOCTOR: That's a pretty tall order for someone just back from the
dead. I should know. It's a very taxing business. Usually it's as much
as you can do to remember your name. I wouldn't expect any more than
this. I imagine she'd feel rather tired and confused.
VINCENZO: The legend has come down to us from the last century. Three
generations of priests have handed down the tale. We know what is
ordained to happen.
DOCTOR: Really, a century, isn't that long for a legend. It isn't
that long at all. Come on, you must have some doubts, surely, niggling
away. Don't you think you're going to look a little foolish?
VINCENZO: You know nothing. How can you know anything about us? How can
you understand a century's worth of worshipping our Lady?
DOCTOR: I've never been very religious it's true, but I think you
are going to be
DOCTOR: To be disappointed. What's going on?
CHURCHWELL: It's the priests. They've seen something.
VINCENZO: What? Stop, you fools. Control yourselves.
DOCTOR: What is it? What can they see?
CHURCHWELL: Doctor, look. There's something under there. Just under the
surface of the water.
DOCTOR: We're being attacked. They're coming up from under the boat.
VINCENZO: Kill them. Get them away from us.
DOCTOR: What are they?
VINCENZO: Amphibians. Trolls. Myrmidons.
DOCTOR: Churchwell, give me your hand.
DOCTOR: Churchwell, grab my hand. The others, the priests, they're
being dragged down.
CHURCHWELL: They'll kill us all. The Gondoliers, they've gone mad.
They'll drag us all down into the depths!
LAVISH: Of course, Charley. We're missing all the excitement up
here. The biggest do that any of us have ever seen.
PIETRO: I've no hankering to see the spoiled upper classes at play.
We've heard tales of the Duke's depravities.
LAVISH: Oh come, Pietro, it's our last night on Earth. Surely you
can enjoy yourself a little?
PIETRO: I have no intention of dying, Ms Lavish. None of the Gondoliers
or their families have. How often you've called us amphibians, toads,
fish people. Yet none of you suspected the truth.
LAVISH: Which is?
PIETRO: That we really are fish people. We have
evolved. Many of our people have made their homes under the surface
already. The rest of us will join them once the sea has risen to close
over the tallest of Venice's spires. We've nothing to fear, you see.
LAVISH: What a quiet, gentle revolution you've been planning.
PIETRO: Do you blame us? After centuries of subjugation by the likes of
the Duke? After the past hundred years of decadence?
LAVISH: So the city will devolve to the likes of you? Well, we
deserve no better. But you've drawn this poor girl into your schemes.
That hardly seems fair. What are you trying to do? Make everyone doubly
miserable as the sea washes in?
PIETRO: Well, this mission does seem somewhat foolhardy now. We thought
the Duke would use his last hours to search for Estella's remains. The
more superstitious amongst us thought he might succeed in revoking the
LAVISH: Nothing can revoke the curse.
PIETRO: Nevertheless, Duke Orsino needs a distraction, a placebo, and
Charley here was to provide it.
CHARLEY: It's nice to feel wanted, especially since the Doctor
seems to have abandoned me. But really, I hope you won't be dreadfully
offended if I just slip away quietly and make my escape.
(Starting to walk off.)
PIETRO: Charley, don't.
CHARLEY: I'm not staying around here, Pietro. The effects of
that noxious potion you forced down me seem to have worn off. I can
think straight again. I'm going.
PIETRO: You'll spoil everything.
CHARLEY: Look, Pietro, you saw the Duke. Did he look like
someone who's working against the clock to rescue the city? No, of
course he didn't. He's sitting on his throne and he doesn't care a jot.
He isn't lifting a finger to rescue the place. He doesn't need a
distraction. The city will fall, and it will all be yours. You don't
need me to help. I'm going.
PIETRO: Let me come with you.
LAVISH: I'll come too. You two young people seem a bit hapless to me.
CHARLEY: Come on, then, quietly.
(Opening a door.)
CHARLEY: He hasn't put any guards on the corridor.
MAN 1: Hey! Hey!
MAN 2: Over here!
MAN 1: Hoi!
MAN 2: Take hold of the rope. Over here!
CHURCHWELL: Oh, Mother of God, thank you. We're saved, Doctor. Look, it's
Orsino's guards. We were close enough to the Palace. They're pulling us
DOCTOR: What was that?
CHURCHWELL: I said we're saved.
DOCTOR: Oh, hurrah.
CHURCHWELL: The boat was smashed to matchwood. We're lucky to be alive.
I don't know if our captors have. Oh.
VINCENZO: Saved. I am saved. The spirit of our Lady Estella has spared
my soul. I live, and stand once more on dry land.
CHURCHWELL: I think you'll find, Vincenzo, that it was the Duke's
guards who dragged your stinking carcass out of the canal. Where are
the others? Did they all drown?
VINCENZO: They have been murdered by those toads, the Gondoliers, sucked
into the depths of the lagoon. No matter. I have plenty more where they
CHURCHWELL: Of course you have, back at the old secret base. But
remember, Vincenzo, I know where your lair is. I know where the casket
VINCENZO: I could kill you now.
CHURCHWELL: You need me to bargain with the Duke. (singing) You need
DOCTOR: Look, boys, can we stop quibbling and shivering outside? I'm
completely soaked. Shall we just go into the Palace and carry this on
VINCENZO: Into the heart of depravity and decay?
DOCTOR: So long as I get a cup of tea I don't mind where we go.
(Music playing. Walking.)
PIETRO: Charley, pretend to be hypnotised again, in case anyone sees us.
CHARLEY: Oh, marvellous. The Doctor's really going to get a
stiff talking-to when I see him again.
LAVISH: You may have your chance, my dear. Look!
DOCTOR: Duke Orsino, we're here.
(Gasps from the people.)
DOCTOR: Hello, everyone. Duke Orsino, we've come to talk with you.
ORSINO: Is this any way to come before the Grand Duke?
DOCTOR: Probably not, but we've been having a pretty hair-raising
time of it lately. It's nice to see you, by the way. You seem to be at
the centre of this whole affair. I like to get to where the action's
ORSINO: This is merely a small party for a few friends. I'm sure I
don't know what you're talking about. Churchwell, explain yourself. How
does it come to be that you dredge yourself into my State Room looking
like death itself? Who are these peculiar ill-bred persons you bring
CHURCHWELL: That will take some explaining, Your Grace.
ORSINO: Do hurry. We haven't a great deal of time left. It's the middle
of the night.
VINCENZO: Enough of this. I am High Priest Vincenzo of the Order of our
ORSINO: Are you really? You lot have given me quite a bit of bother
over the years, you know. How nice of you to deliver yourself up to me
like this. Guards?
(Moving forwards. Gasps from people as glass smashes. The music stops.)
VINCENZO: Unhand me. I am here to make a bargain.
ORSINO: I don't see that you're in any position to make a bargain,
Priest. How dare you worship my beloved. How dare you offer up to her
memory the dubious compliment of your tawdry prayers.
CHURCHWELL: Your Grace, it might so happen that he does indeed have
something to bargain with.
ORSINO: Oh? Really? Then tell me.
DOCTOR: You may be rather interested in what the High Priest has to
offer, Orsino. You see, in his underwater den, which we've only just
come from, he's got a casket.
ORSINO: A casket, you say?
VINCENZO: Containing her immortal remains. You fool. You have search
for years and never came close. We had her the whole time, and you
never even knew.
ORSINO: You have her? You have my beloved?
DOCTOR: He's got all sorts of things in that lair of his.
LAVISH: Things have rather taken an unexpected turn.
PIETRO: Oh, no.
CHARLEY: You're not telling me that the real Estella's turned
up? That's all we need.
PIETRO: Your friend the Doctor seems to be behind this, Charley. He's
causing quite a stir.
CHARLEY: He's very good at that. Now quiet, both of you. Let me
DOCTOR: Essentially we're here before you under duress, Orsino. The
High Priest here, the delightful Vincenzo, has urged us here to bargain
with you over the small matter of a portrait.
ORSINO: Churchwell is my curator. You should direct all such queries to
him. I have no time for art tonight.
DOCTOR: It's a very special portrait, you see, Your Grace.
ORSINO: Do go on, Doctor. I have no idea who you are, but you are being
DOCTOR: You flatter me.
ORSINO: You'll be even more diverting as a human sacrifice when I have
your gizzards ceremonially removed during my nuptials at dawn.
ORSINO: I am to be married at dawn, with my people in attendance. We
will all be there. It will be Venice's crowning glory.
VINCENZO: And who are you marrying? How dare you marry again!
ORSINO: Oh, you really do bore me, you fervent little man.
DOCTOR: I have no interest in your love life, Orsino. I'm concerned
only with this business of the portrait.
ORSINO: You muddle me and fuddle me with all your requests. I hardly
know who to believe. All of you, leave me to think in peace.
DOCTOR: I know. I often feel like that. But really, Orsino, we
haven't much time.
ORSINO: Why should I listen to any of you? I've had a hundred years of
isolation and inactivity, of grotesquely prolonged life, and then
suddenly, you all turn up at once, telling me you have found my
beloved's remains. Why should I believe you at all?
VINCENZO: We have had the casket ever since our Lady took her own life.
She entrusted it to our care. She created her own cult when she gave
her remains into the care of my grandfather.
ORSINO: Churchwell, I know you. You serve me. Have you seen this casket?
CHURCHWELL: I have seen the casket, yes.
DOCTOR: We both have, Orsino. We have been there.
(Walking down steps.)
ORSINO: I must go. I must see her.
VINCENZO: You seek to enter our domain?
ORSINO: Venice is mine. I go where I wish.
VINCENZO: Not into the sacred domain, Duke Orsino. Not even you.
Especially not you. It was on your account that our Lady took her own
(Walking back up.)
ORSINO: I loved her, you fool. I loved her more than you or any of your
lackeys could ever understand. You claim to worship her, and yet you
keep her from me. You have no idea what passed between us.
VINCENZO: We know that you betrayed her. Were she to return to Earth
this morning, she would want nothing more to do with you.
ORSINO: You know nothing. Churchwell, Doctor, you must take me there.
Show me where she lies.
DOCTOR: Er, there is still the matter of the portrait? Fair's
fair, Orsino, that's your part of the bargain. I think you'd better
have a think about where you left it.
ORSINO: There never was any portrait.
CHURCHWELL: I tried to tell them. If anyone had known about such an
object then as curator, I would.
ORSINO: Shut up, Churchwell.
DOCTOR: Yes, that reminds me. It's a very interesting collection of
paintings you have over there in Churchwell's museum, Your Grace. I was
pleased to see them. I thought they were very interesting indeed.
Obviously I'm not speaking as an expert. Well, not much of one anyway.
ORSINO: Are you prattling at me again?
DOCTOR: You see, I recognised one or two of them. And I recognised
one or two of the places depicted in them.
CHURCHWELL: Your Grace, I don't think the Doctor quite understands what
surrealism is all about.
ORSINO: Poor thing.
DOCTOR: On the contrary, I understand all too well. how could I
not? The thing is, some of the paintings I saw yesterday evening are
not from this world at all.
ORSINO: And where are they from, Doctor? Outer space?
DOCTOR: Well, of course.
ORSINO: (laughs) I'll waste no more time with you. Churchwell, tell me where
this domain of the cult lies. I must know. I must find her remains.
LAVISH: Make way. Make way for his Grace's divine intended.
ORSINO: What is this?
PIETRO: She couldn't bear to be parted from you any longer, Your Grace.
ORSINO: Return to your apartments at once, you witch. The night isn't
CHARLEY: I had to come down. I knew something was going on.
VINCENZO: This is the woman you intend to marry? This is your second
PIETRO: The first Duchess. This person is Estella, reincarnated.
VINCENZO: You blaspheme. How can this be Estella?
DOCTOR: But that's Charley.
LAVISH: Oh, well done.
ORSINO: Oh, you know this woman, do you, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Yes. No. Er, Charley, what's happening?
CHARLEY: I am to be joined with the Duke at dawn.
ORSINO: No matter. Whether she is known to you or not, whether she is a
genuine reincarnation or not, what matters is the spectacle. And
spectacle there shall be, when I marry her at dawn.
VINCENZO: No! You cannot!
ORSINO: Pass me a blade.
(Slash. Vincenzo cries out.)
ORSINO: Oh, don't gasp. I wouldn't kill him. No, he has to return with
me to his wonderfully elusive lair, and divulge to me his glorious
secrets, and show me Estella's ineffable remains. I wouldn't have
killed him for all the world. But I would have him bleed copiously, of
course. And experience a terrific amount of pain, the cur.
VINCENZO: You will pay for that, Your Grace.
LAVISH: Stop this. Stop lashing out at each other.
ORSINO: What is this? Know your place, old woman, and shut your mouth!
DOCTOR: I'd do as he says, Ms Lavish. He's pretty handy with that
LAVISH: What do you know, Doctor? Ever since you turned up, there's
been nothing but disaster.
CHURCHWELL: It's true, you know. Ever since I clapped eyes on the
Doctor my life's been hell.
ORSINO: Will someone take this obstreperous hag away?
LAVISH: No. You listen to me, you men. You're all fighting each
other, but the fact remains that this city and all of us will be dead
within a matter of hours. By the time the sun rises again, in fact. Why
should you fight each other? What's the point?
DOCTOR: She's right, you know. Why don't we all listen to Eleanor
Lavish? Are you all right, Vincenzo?
VINCENZO: What concern is that of yours, infidel?
DOCTOR: Of course I'm concerned. I hate seeing people get hurt,
even horrible people.
CHURCHWELL: It does seem rather futile to fight while the city is
sinking into the sea.
ORSINO: I don't care, Churchwell. I've got things to sort out. Out of
CHARLEY: Where are you going, my Lord?
DOCTOR: Why are you calling him my Lord? Has he got you hypnotised
or something, Charley? I'll take a very dim view of this, Orsino, if
you've been hypnotising my companion.
ORSINO: My intended will accompany us. She must be there when I gaze
upon the last shreds and tatters of her previous human form.
CHARLEY: Oh, marvellous. Let's wrap up this dreadful night by
looking at a dead body.
LAVISH: Duke Orsino, if you leave this Palace and go to the cult's
domain, there will be worse bloodshed this night.
ORSINO: You believe you're a very wise old woman, don't you, Ms
LAVISH: Lavish. Eleanor Lavish.
ORSINO: Ah yes. And at my service, eh?
LAVISH: Not quite.
ORSINO: You amuse me, you hag.
LAVISH: Hag indeed.
ORSINO: (announcing) Everyone, I am to be gone for a few hours till
daybreak. I shall return for my wedding at dawn. But until then, and
because it amuses me, I will place upon my throne in my glorious stead,
this elderly harridan, for you to bow down before.
LAVISH: Your Grace does me honour.
ORSINO: Take up the throne, Ms Lavish.
LAVISH: With pleasure.
(Music starts up again. Footsteps)
ORSINO: And the rest of you follow me. Bring that dog of a priest.
Prepare the ducal barge.
DOCTOR: Let's travel in style, let's raise a glass as we steam down
the canal. And before the world ends, it turns completely upside down.
CHURCHWELL: Doctor, come on. You got me into this.
PIETRO: You can hear the buildings rumbling and groaning. The very
stone is about to rip apart like silk. The foundations are sinking, as we sail down through it all. And listen to him. Listen to
the Duke laughing like a maniac.
DOCTOR: It's probably all been a bit much for him, Pietro. Now
perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining to me why Charley here is dressed
up like this.
PIETRO: It was my idea.
DOCTOR: Why is she going to marry him? Did she just get carried
away? Or is it just that thing of hers about jumping in at the deep
end? Because if it is, I think she's gone a bit too far.
CHARLEY: Er, you could ask me, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Oh. You're not hypnotised?
CHARLEY: I faked it. It seemed the simplest way.
DOCTOR: Charley, what has been happening since you ran out on me?
CHARLEY: Ran out on you? I could say the
DOCTOR: All right, let's just say we were separated during all the
hullabaloo. I got caught up with our friendly cult and their stashed
revenants, and meanwhile you seem to have got yourself rather involved.
CHARLEY: He made me do it.
DOCTOR: Pietro? Yes, I came across some of your pals earlier. They
attacked our ship. They tried to get us into the water but we weren't
PIETRO: My people are eager to take over, Doctor. Tomorrow the city
will be theirs. Can you blame them for agitating?
DOCTOR: I can when it involves me almost drowning and Charley here
getting marched to the altar.
PIETRO: They're all around us, you know, just under the surface. I can
sense them following the ducal barge. They will attack.
CHARLEY: Oh, marvellous. Doctor, when you invited me to join
you on these trips, you never said anything about marauding amphibians
and enforced marriages to noble lunatics.
DOCTOR: Yes, I should have really. It's always the way, but I always
manage to get us away at the right moment, Charley, you watch. It'll
all sort itself out.
CHARLEY: Oh, like it did on that last hellish place you took me
DOCTOR: That's right.
CHARLEY: I don't find that very reassuring.
DOCTOR: At least we're seeing history made.
CHARLEY: I still don't relish the thought of looking at a dead
body. It's not my idea of fun.
DOCTOR: Ah, but there's the funny thing.
DOCTOR: You'll see.
ORSINO: Their domain was right under our noses the whole time,
Churchwell. On the left bank, as we always thought.
CHURCHWELL: Your Grace, I would advise caution. The High Priest is
acquiescing far too easily. It looks to me very much like a trap.
ORSINO: My tactical advisor are you now, eh, Churchwell?
CHURCHWELL: I wouldn't presume.
VINCENZO: We are approaching the place. Are you ready to descend?
ORSINO: And see the remains of my beloved? Of course I am.
VINCENZO: We have not much time.
DOCTOR: Perhaps this isn't very practical. I mean, do you really
believe you can do anything if, if, when you find her? She might not
be too pleased at you waking her up, you know? Why don't we try
something else? We could pool our resources.
ORSINO: Churchwell, how have you stood spending time with this fool?
DOCTOR: We could find out who's still here in Venice. My ship is
quite large inside, and we could
CHARLEY: Doctor, they aren't listening to you.
DOCTOR: They have to. They're sailing into an even worse situation.
I've got to try and make them see sense. Things are bad enough without
them opening graves.
CHARLEY: You know something, don't you?
DOCTOR: They're not going to like what they find, and I don't think
it's going to help anyone if Orsino leads us all down into the clutches
of the High Priest and his cult.
CHARLEY: We'll have to go with him. He'll make us. We're never
going to get out again, are we?
DOCTOR: Don't worry, I'll think of something, you'll see.
LAVISH: I don't suppose he'll mind if we empty out his wine cellars.
Look at you all, you masked fools, still dancing round. I should pity
you. You don't really have a clue what's going on in your midst, do
you? None of you can see what is about to happen. Well, go on, dance.
Enjoy yourselves while you still can. And you, Eleanor. You were
expecting a quiet closure to this debacle. You wanted to sink
gracefully into the green waves at the end. How does it happen that you
are on the ducal throne, watching from the very centre? How have you
allowed yourself to be caught up like this, as the others descend into
the lair of the cult, to peer into the golden sarcophagus and find. Ah,
but what will they find?
DOCTOR: Wonderful. Burning torches and leaping shadows. This
more like it. Here, Charley, cop hold of this torch and follow me.
CHARLEY: I know you're just acting all casual in order to
reassure me, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Am I?
CHARLEY: You're trying to make it seem like a great adventure.
DOCTOR: You're right.
CHARLEY: Really, you're as worried as I am.
DOCTOR: Just a bit. I don't like being in the hands of people as
obsessed as this. Makes me jumpy. Pietro, how are you doing?
PIETRO: Petrified for my life.
DOCTOR: Well look, at least Orsino and the others have gone ahead
first. Nothing can harm us.
CHARLEY: You don't believe that? We're walking down a tunnel
into a tomb.
DOCTOR: Just think of it all as some kind of phantasm, a peculiar
dream you're having.
CHARLEY: That works, does it?
DOCTOR: Why do you think I'm always so calm and collected?
CHARLEY: But you aren't.
(Churchwell cries out.)
CHARLEY: What's that? That was Churchwell, up ahead.
CHURCHWELL: Let go of me. Let me. Doctor! Doctor, they've got me.
ORSINO: What is this? Unhand me.
VINCENZO: Seize them. Seize them all.
CHURCHWELL: Let go of me!
ORSINO: Stop whining, Churchwell.
DOCTOR: Quickly, back up this way.
PIETRO: I can't see. Where?
VINCENZO: Take them all to the chamber of our Lady.
ORSINO: There are hundreds of them. I had no idea.
DOCTOR: Churchwell, are you wounded?
CHURCHWELL: Scratched, that's all.
DOCTOR: They've got us hemmed in.
VINCENZO: I have many more followers than you knew. You cannot stop us,
Orsino, any of you. You are all here now. You are here to do my
bidding. Now, descend with us to the catacombs, where our Lady awaits.
CHARLEY: They've got us. I knew they would.
DOCTOR: There's still a way, Charley. I can still get them to talk
to each other.
PIETRO: They'll never talk. The Duke will never talk with the cultists.
They all dress in fine clothes and pretend they're civilised, but
really they're savages.
CHURCHWELL: I'm inclined to think you're right. But your people are no
PIETRO: My people are desperate, and rash.
DOCTOR: Shush. The tunnel's coming to an end. Listen. Ticking. We've reached the tomb. They're taking us in.
CHARLEY: In those robes, it's almost as if they have no faces.
DOCTOR: Then don't look at them, Charley. Take my hand. It looks
like they're leading us in.
VINCENZO: Bring the prisoners in. Bow down. Make them all bow down
before her casket.
ORSINO: I will stand, Vincenzo. I see no reason to make obsequies
(Chanting in background.)
VINCENZO: In this chamber, Orsino, you will address me as Lord. Here I
rule. You will do as I bid you.
DOCTOR: Just do as they say for now, Orsino. Let them have their
little ceremonials. They seem to like that kind of thing.
ORSINO: She was my wife, Doctor. They've taken her away from me and
made her into some kind of goddess.
DOCTOR: Yes, you'll be feeling very much like I always think Liza
Minelli must have felt about her mother. Imagine having Judy Garland
for a mother. Living in the shadow of an icon like that must be hard.
CHURCHWELL: We're all going to die. They'll slit our throats.
VINCENZO: Listen. Listen to the clock. See how the hands strain to meet
on the hour, the ordained hour.
DOCTOR: That's more like it, Vincenzo. I knew you'd manage grandiloquence if you tried. More!
CHARLEY: Doctor, don't aggravate them.
DOCTOR: I'm trying to distract them.
VINCENZO: Only a matter of minutes until we face our dread destiny.
CHARLEY: That's the casket, is it? That's where she is?
DOCTOR: Er, well, just wait and see.
VINCENZO: In moments, the bells will ring out, and the casket will
CHURCHWELL: Mother of God.
ORSINO: Pull yourself together, Churchwell.
CHURCHWELL: You don't understand, Your Grace.
DOCTOR: Pietro, what?
CHARLEY: He's trying to get away.
PIETRO: Doctor, Charley, this way.
DOCTOR: Charley, come on, we're leaving.
VINCENZO: Leave them. We have far more important matters to attend to.
ORSINO: But I still need the woman.
VINCENZO: Everything we need is in here.
CHARLEY: Well done, Pietro. I didn't much fancy being down
there when they opened that coffin.
DOCTOR: Neither did I. But I haven't explained why not yet, have I?
CHARLEY: What do you mean by that?
DOCTOR: Hopefully we'll not be around to see. Pietro, I'm lost. Can
you remember how to get to the exit?
CHARLEY: You always get lost. Every single time.
PIETRO: Round here. This way. I can smell the canal.
DOCTOR: The dawn's coming up. Can you see the air lightening? It's
CHARLEY: What's that noise?
DOCTOR: This is it. This is the exit. Oh no, look.
CHARLEY: It's the Gondoliers. They're massing.
PIETRO: They followed the barge. They're after the Duke. No, they're
DOCTOR: We've no choice. Back, back down the stairs.
PIETRO: Back into the tomb?
CHARLEY: What choice have we got? Look at your people, Pietro,
they're mad. Do you think they'd spare us? Come on.
(Ticking continues and chanting.)
VINCENZO: You, Duke Orsino. You must come forward as the hour reaches
its zenith. We have foretold how you will step up to the casket as it
breaks apart at dawn on the final day.
ORSINO: I will. I will come and stand by you.
VINCENZO: You must come to gaze upon what remains of your beloved. As
the curse reaches its apotheosis, you must stare upon what you yourself
DOCTOR: Stop. You mustn't go through with this. It isn't how you
DOCTOR: Stop, I'm telling you, come away from there.
CHARLEY: Doctor, what are you doing?
DOCTOR: You don't understand, Charley. If they open that thing now
there'll be even more bloodshed.
ORSINO: It is the hour. Open the golden casket.
(Stone scraps. Gasps.)
VINCENZO: What? It is empty.
ORSINO: Empty? How can it be?
VINCENZO: Empty. Empty. Empty!
DOCTOR: I tried to tell them, I tried. Look. The hands of the clock
(The ticking stops. Chimes start.)
CHARLEY: That's it, then. It's dawn.
DOCTOR: And the clock chimes out for the death of Venice.
(Band music playing and party sounds eventually replaced by screams.)
LAVISH: You must all listen to me. The Duke put me in command in his
stead. As a joke, perhaps. As a ludicrous indulgent jest. But in the
meantime, I order you, I beseech you to put an end to these drunken
revels. Listen. Outside, Venice is sinking. Look at the light coming through the tall
windows. It is dawn. You are all in great danger. This foolishness has
been allowed to go on far too long. Do you all really want to die? Are
you really waiting for our Lady Estella to rise from the grave and rescue
you all? Hah! Oh, that was a foolish dream. She isn't returning. You
own Duke has left you all to the mercies of the lagoon. The curse is
reaching its fulfilment. Flee for your lives! On the other hand, there
isn't anywhere left for you to flee. It's far too late for all of that.
Strike up the band, boys.
(A jaunty tune starts to be played by the band.)
(Distant sounds of panic and chaos.)
DOCTOR: The city is falling down around your ears. Listen. Forget
your petty squabbles now.
ORSINO: But where has she gone? What have you done? Vincenzo, what have
you done with her?
VINCENZO: Blasphemy. Someone has removed the blessed revenants.
DOCTOR: Forget about that. We'll all be revenants soon.
CHURCHWELL: I tried to warn you, Your Grace. I tried to tell you.
ORSINO: Venice dies, and with the dawn comes a new age.
CHARLEY: A new age without your precious Estella. What are you
going to do without her?
PIETRO: Charley, leave them be.
CHURCHWELL: We looked. We saw she had gone. We tried to warn you.
ORSINO: You knew, Churchwell? You knew she had been stolen?
CHURCHWELL: The Doctor. He made me open the casket. He forced me to
look inside, the ghoul. All we saw was dust.
ORSINO: Is this true, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, yes, I was interested. I only had a peep.
ORSINO: You knew she was gone and you still let me come here? Wait.
Where is the necklace? Where are her jewels? Vincenzo, you scourge.
What have you done with her jewels?
VINCENZO: The answer seemed so plain to me. Why hadn't we foreseen this?
ORSINO: What are you talking about, man?
DOCTOR: (sotto) Let's start backing away very carefully.
VINCENZO: She has already risen.
(Gasps from the priests.)
VINCENZO: She is alive again. Already she has left her tomb, and walks
ORSINO: No! It cannot be!
PIETRO: All of you, listen to me. My people are attacking in force.
This is their morning, their moment of revenge. We must hurry away from
here or they'll kill us all.
(Swords clash in the distance amid sound of panic.)
DOCTOR: They're taking the place by storm. We'll have to get out of
CHARLEY: Doctor, this way. You're going the wrong way.
DOCTOR: Everyone stop fighting each other. What's the matter with
PIETRO: You'll never convince them, Doctor.
DOCTOR: But this isn't the way.
CHARLEY: Look, follow Orsino. He's heading for the barge.
ORSINO: Out of my way.
VINCENZO: Trolls, toads everywhere.
DOCTOR: You two listen to me.
VINCENZO: Why should we listen to you? You engineered this entire
DOCTOR: I did nothing of the sort.
ORSINO: Out this way. Here, the barge.
DOCTOR: Orsino, I must know. Why were you suddenly so keen on
finding Estella's jewels?
ORSINO: What? Come on!
DOCTOR: It wasn't just greed, was it?
CHARLEY: Doctor, you must hurry. The barge'll go without us.
PIETRO: The water's the safest place to be.
(Sounds of crashing buildings going into the sea.)
CHURCHWELL: Mother of God, it's just how we imagined it. Facades
crumbling and dropping into the swelling water.
DOCTOR: What is it about those jewels, Orsino? Why were they
suddenly so important to you?
ORSINO: Her jewels, Doctor? You don't know? I thought you knew
CHARLEY: Doctor, come on. Get aboard.
(On the water while there is the sound of falling buildings.)
PIETRO: Charley, I'm sorry. If it hadn't been for me you'd never have
been mixed up in any of this.
CHARLEY: Never mind, Pietro. I'm sure I would have. The Doctor
would have got me embroiled in it all somehow. Look at him. He loves
being in the midst of it all.
DOCTOR: Keep the barge in the middle of the canal. If any of that
collapsing masonry hits us we're dead.
(Sounds of large things falling and splashing into water.)
CHURCHWELL: Yes, we we're on the water. Everything else will be
ruined. All the paintings will be destroyed, all the beautiful
pictures! Oh! My city sinks. My city is dead.
VINCENZO: Orsino, in our moment of direst need, I offer you a bargain.
CHARLEY: Oh, this'll be good.
PIETRO: At least they've stopped stabbing each other.
DOCTOR: That's more worrying in my experience.
ORSINO: Speak, dog.
VINCENZO: You know the legends. And this dawn the legends are being
proved true. You know that we must join forces if we are to find
ORSINO: You really think she has walked out of her tomb, Vincenzo?
VINCENZO: I am sure she has. She will be the salvation of us all.
PIETRO: I wouldn't be so sure of that.
DOCTOR: Shush. Pietro, let him talk.
VINCENZO: Leave the portrait, Orsino, the painting you have so
assiduously claimed never existed. If we have that, we can call her to
us. Without the remains and without her jewels, it is our only hope of
calling her, and begging her to revoke this curse.
CHARLEY: It's too late for that. Look, the buildings are
crumbling around us.
DOCTOR: No, it isn't too late. Orsino, do as he asks. Give him the
CHURCHWELL: But the painting never existed. There was never any
likeness of the Duchess.
ORSINO: There was one.
ORSINO: There was only ever one in the ducal palace, hidden away. When
I betrayed her, that portrait was all I was allowed to retain. She
left it in my care, like she left her curse. No one but I have ever
beheld it. Come, we must return there.
CHARLEY: It'll be destroyed already. We can't go back. We
should head to the open sea.
ORSINO: What do you know? What are you but a callow impostor? How dare
you tell me what I should or shouldn't do, after you attempted to
hoodwink me into thinking you were the reincarnation of my beloved?
DOCTOR: Get away from her, Orsino. Charley, stand behind me.
CHARLEY: No, let him speak, Doctor.
ORSINO: You came to me to convince me to marry you. Who are you to
tempt me thus?
CHARLEY: And who are you to inflict your misery and
self-indulgence upon a whole city? Look around you. The whole city is
dying, because of the curse you brought upon its head. Your greed
caused this, Orsino, your greed and your disregard.
ORSINO: Venice was always a greedy city. Outsiders always feared us.
You are an outsider.
CHARLEY: But you believed me when I said I was your beloved.
You played along.
ORSINO: I had waited a hundred years for this moment. What do you know
about living for that long, and nurturing hope for that length of time?
CHURCHWELL: Now it is ending. Now we return to the lagoon.
VINCENZO: Enough! We are here.
CHURCHWELL: The ducal palace!
DOCTOR: It's still standing. I wonder why. Perhaps there's some
influence at work none of us have even suspected here. Everyone hurry,
quick, while there's still dry land left.
ORSINO: I will lead the way. All of you, behind me. I still rule here.
(Piano music still playing.)
ORSINO: Where have they gone? My guests, my people. They have fled.
CHURCHWELL: I can't blame them really, Your Grace.
ORSINO: No matter. I must find the portrait.
DOCTOR: Wait. Look, there are still people here.
VINCENZO: She is still here, that hag.
ORSINO: Where have my people gone?
LAVISH: Welcome back, everyone. Welcome to the end.
DOCTOR: Ms Lavish, I'm pleased to see you're all right still.
LAVISH: I'll always be all right, Doctor.
PIETRO: We can't stay in this place. My people will make for here at
the first opportunity.
ORSINO: I haven't time for this.
(The music stops.)
VINCENZO: Yes, Orsino. Find what you came here to find.
ORSINO: I will.
LAVISH: Hold your horses, Orsino!
DOCTOR: Oh no.
CHARLEY: What is it?
DOCTOR: I should have seen this coming.
LAVISH: Churchwell, come here. Come up to my throne.
CHURCHWELL: Your throne?
ORSINO: You take the jest too far, old woman.
LAVISH: You are the Duke's art expert, are you not, Churchwell? You
are his curator?
CHURCHWELL: Well, yes. But isn't that all rather beside the point now?
LAVISH: Hardly. Why don't you come up here and do your job?
CHURCHWELL: Your Grace?
ORSINO: Do as she tells you.
DOCTOR: I don't like the look of this.
LAVISH: Orsino, you say you are looking for this rare and vital
portrait of your lost love? You say you have it hidden. How big exactly
is this painting?
ORSINO: Tiny. It was tiny.
LAVISH: She gave it to you, didn't she, the morning that she left?
She palmed it to you, and you didn't realise what you were holding
until after she had gone?
VINCENZO: What is this woman talking about? Orsino, what is happening?
LAVISH: Tiny, you say. About the size of a cameo brooch? Was it
something one perhaps could wear as a brooch, something that a funny,
harmless old woman could wear, and no one would notice?
LAVISH: Then closer, Churchwell. Be as expert as you like. Look at
CHURCHWELL: Mother of God!
LAVISH: Of pearl, actually. That's the backing anyway, but the
brooch itself is painted. It's a portrait.
CHURCHWELL: It's impossible.
DOCTOR: It's all too possible, I'm afraid.
LAVISH: (laughs) You foolish men. You really haven't got a clue,
have you? Go away now, Churchwell. You can stop breathing down my neck.
You've done your job.
ORSINO: You, the Duchess? You are Estella?
LAVISH: Could you say it with a bit more conviction? But yes, I am
your Duchess, and yes, I am returned to life.
VINCENZO: Our Lady!
LAVISH: Oh, do get up off your knees, you ridiculous man. I can't
bear your drooling.
VINCENZO: You are returned to us. You are resurrected.
LAVISH: I was never dead, you dolt. Any halfwit could see that. I've
been highly amused by you all. Running around stabbing each other on my
account. It should be rather flattering, but I'm afraid I end up
thinking what ridiculous and savage creatures you all are.
VINCENZO: They are reunited. The Duke and the Duchess are reunited as
the prophecy foretold.
LAVISH: And that's enough of that, by the way. I have to say I'm
appalled at all this mythology that sprung up in my absence. What's the
matter with you all? You find a mystery, and you plug it with all kinds
of obfuscating nonsense. Chanting and sacrifices indeed.
ORSINO: I tried to have the cult stamped out. I knew you would never
LAVISH: And you, what have you done in the last hundred years?
Sitting around and moping. What a waste of time. I grant you extra life
and you waste it, Orsino. You've squandered everything I ever gave you,
PIETRO: But, because you're together now, the city will be saved? Is
that part of the prophecy true? Will you doom my people?
LAVISH: Your people. What a bunch of mutant upstarts. Charley, while
we've got a moment, I must congratulate you. You did a rather good job
of impersonating me in my youth.
CHARLEY: Why didn't you tell us? Why didn't you warn us sooner
who you were? All of this could have been averted.
VINCENZO: It was the way things were always meant to be. The prophecy
had to be played out.
DOCTOR: Nothing had to be played out. Can't you people see? Won't
you ever learn? There's no such thing as prophecy or fate. There are
true events. Things that happen, and things that have to happen, and
none of us can escape those. None of us can, and that's bad enough. I
know that. But we don't have to invent myths to make it all worse. We
don't have to create terrible destinies. We come to them sure enough.
I thought my own people were bad enough with their legends, and their
myths of great and terrible happenings, but you lot take the biscuit.
The fates you encounter are all down to yourselves. You make it all up
yourselves. Everything that has happened here is down to the capricious
wills of two people amongst us, Estella and Orsino. You two are
responsible for all of this.
LAVISH: I know all of this, thank you, Doctor.
CHARLEY: Then do something about it, Miss Lavish. Try to put it
right. That's what the Doctor is telling you. It's all in your
LAVISH: My dear, as the High Priest here would no doubt tell you,
if he wasn't scrabbling on the ground at my feet, the curse itself is
quite irrevocable. I did quite a thorough job of damning this city to
destruction, and my ex-beloved with it. I couldn't put things right if
CHURCHWELL: That's it, then.
LAVISH: I'm rather afraid it is. The lagoon will be left to the
amphibious upstarts, and good luck to them.
CHARLEY: There must be something we can do.
LAVISH: When I say irrevocable, young lady, I mean irrevocable.
CHARLEY: Doctor, tell her. Tell her again you don't believe in
magic and curses. Tell her there's always a way to
put things right.
DOCTOR: Oh, I will, Charley. I do think there's always
a way to put things right. If I didn't believe that I wouldn't get out
of bed in the morning, I wouldn't eat breakfast, I wouldn't leave the
Tardis ever. I would never have left home. There is always something we
ORSINO: Then what do you suggest, Doctor? Our Lady has come back
amongst us, but she is still bitter. She still wants us all to die.
What can you do about that?
DOCTOR: Do you know, I might have an idea. You see, what we have
here is someone not of this world at all. We've got someone who has
seen fit to play games with the lives of human beings. Someone who has
magnified her malign and capricious will by amplifying it through a
device from elsewhere. A device, not a curse, not magic, and a device I
believe might be put to some use now.
ORSINO: Her jewels.
DOCTOR: And here they are.
DOCTOR: You're not from this world, are you, Estella? I don't know
where you're from, but you aren't from round here.
LAVISH: As if it's any business of yours, young man. Give me my
DOCTOR: I think I'll hang on to them for a bit. You see, I'm a bit
of a traveller myself. I've knocked about a bit, and I can spot an
alien interloper up to malarkey with the indigenous population a mile
off. Did you know, Orsino, that your beloved wasn't human?
ORSINO: Not human?
CHURCHWELL: We all knew she was divine.
LAVISH: Oh, you obsequious fool, Churchwell. How dare you try to
curry favour with me.
DOCTOR: It was never magic she was doing, just evidence of some
supremely advanced alien technology. Didn't I tell you that some of the
paintings in the collection weren't from here? They were from alien
systems and places that Earth hasn't even heard of.
CHARLEY: Well done, Doctor. But what happens now?
VINCENZO: You say that our Lady's powers resided in this jewel alone?
DOCTOR: I'm afraid so.
LAVISH: It's magnified my will. But it was still my fabulous will
that you were all enthralled to.
DOCTOR: These gems are rather powerful. A rather silly thing to
leave lying about. Any one of us puny primitive beings might pick them
up and amplify our malformed subjectivities willy-nilly, and bring
destruction and terror down on the whole city.
LAVISH: Point taken, Doctor. Give me those gems.
DOCTOR: I think you've played with your baubles quite enough, Miss
LAVISH: Give them to me, you hapless fop!
DOCTOR: I will return them to you on the condition that you use
them to revoke the curse. You accelerated this city's demise. You can, I
imagine, return it to its former glories.
PIETRO: And you'd better hurry. We can't have long left.
CHARLEY: Miss Lavish. Estella. You must do as the Doctor
tells you. You must make up for all you and the Duke have done.
LAVISH: What we have done? What did I do but fall under the spell of
a man by far my inferior. A pathetic creature from a spoiled, indolent
race took my fancy, and made me stay here. He made his people love me,
and flattered, I remained here. Then, he betrayed me, when it was too
late for me to return to the stars and my own kind. When I was so
caught up in this world and this people, he flung me away from him, as
if I meant nothing. After everything I had given up for his sake. You,
Orsino, you betrayed me.
ORSINO: I never meant to. I am sorry, Estella. Truly I am.
DOCTOR: Nothing like closure, is there, Charley? Now, Miss Lavish,
do you accept the Duke's apology?
LAVISH: I most certainly do not. He can go to hell with the rest of
VINCENZO: But you are our saviour. We have worshipped you for a
century, in the hope that you would save us when the day came.
LAVISH: What do I care for a bunch of snivelling human beings when
I, I have walked among the stars.
DOCTOR: That's hardly charitable. Human lives are worth something,
after all. I too have walked through the stars, Estella, but I
always get caught up here on Earth. There are human beings I value a
very great deal, and I would risk my life on account of anything.
LAVISH: Then you are a fool.
ORSINO: You are nothing like the woman I loved. You are still the same
person, but your heart is black with poison and gall. You have
turned bitter and wicked, Estella. Do you really care for nobody?
LAVISH: I, I hardly know any more. I feel that once I did, but I
have grown so very wretched and old, Orsino. While you have remained as
you were and languished, I have become so terribly old.
VINCENZO: Our Lady, take the jewels, revoke the curse, bring our city
back to life, and rule with your Duke here, over us.
LAVISH: It isn't as easy as that. In a way, I wish it was. But there
is a price to be paid for a prolonged life. Something else must decay
and die. There is a balance to magic.
CHARLEY: You mean that because you prolonged your life from the
Duke's, Venice had to fall?
PIETRO: And so if you restore the city
ORSINO: Doctor, give me those jewels.
DOCTOR: What for?
ORSINO: Give them to me, Doctor. I think I see a way out of this.
LAVISH: Orsino, I beg you. Don't do what I think you're going to do.
ORSINO: Doctor, give the necklace to me.
DOCTOR: What are you going to do?
ORSINO: You will see.
LAVISH: Orsino, no!
DOCTOR: Can I trust you, Orsino?
ORSINO: You will simply have to trust me, Doctor. To put right
everything that we spoiled, a hundred years ago.
DOCTOR: Here you are.
VINCENZO: Orsino, no. What are you doing?
CHURCHWELL: Your Grace!
PIETRO: Leave him. It's only fitting.
VINCENZO: But he is insane. He's putting on her necklace.
CHARLEY: It's glowing, Doctor. Is he insane?
ORSINO: I might be insane after all these terrible years, but at last I
realise what I have to do now.
DOCTOR: He's using it to channel his thoughts and desires. He's
imposing his will upon the city. Look. The jewels have come to life,
they're opening like eyes.
CHARLEY: It's too bright. I can't see.
ORSINO: Estella, this is right. Join me in the flame.
LAVISH: You will die, Orsino. Restore this city, and it will come at
the price of your own life. It will take every shred of your life force.
ORSINO: I have had too much already. I have been far too greedy. Join
me, Estella. Step into the flame. Grow old with me.
VINCENZO: Our Lady, no! He's tricking you. The flames will destroy you.
Stay with us!
DOCTOR: She must decide for herself. Estella, Ms Lavish, whatever
you want to call yourself, you must know Orsino cannot save this city
alone. To do what he wishes you must go with him.
LAVISH: I know that, Doctor.
DOCTOR: And do you still love him?
ORSINO: (echo) Estella!
LAVISH: Do I love him? Yes, of course. I always did.
DOCTOR: Then there's no need for bitterness. Why don't you go in
peace, then, hmm?
LAVISH: Yes, I will. Goodbye, everyone.
CHURCHWELL: Stand back, you fool, you'll be killed too!
DOCTOR: Down, everyone.
(Explosion. Sizzling, then silence.)
CHARLEY: Are we alive?
DOCTOR: I should say so. Do you feel alive?
CHARLEY: I feel rather sore. My ears are ringing.
DOCTOR: Then you're definitely alive.
PIETRO: Look. Look at them.
CHURCHWELL: That's all they came down to in the end, is it? All the
legends and myths surrounding them, and that's all that's left.
DOCTOR: But they embraced each other at the very last second, did
you see, Churchwell? They held each other.
VINCENZO: Who cares about that?
VINCENZO: She did it again. The Duke betrayed her once more and Estella
fell for his trap, and this time it killed her. It pains me to say it,
but she was a fool.
CHARLEY: But she loved him, Vincenzo. Of course she stepped
into the flame.
CHURCHWELL: What is it?
PIETRO: Can't you feel it?
DOCTOR: He's right, you know. Quickly, come to the window.
CHARLEY: Hold open these curtains. Help me.
DOCTOR: Look at that light. Isn't that the most gorgeous morning
light you've ever seen?
CHURCHWELL: The city. It's restored.
DOCTOR: Venice has returned from the dead.
(Bird song heard.)
DOCTOR: The Duke and Duchess have kept their bargain. They died,
and the city is returned to us.
PIETRO: What a mess it'll be in.
DOCTOR: There'll be lots to sort out, but it's as good a time as
any to get rid of the old cobwebs and debris.
CHURCHWELL: Speaking of which. Look, Vincenzo.
CHARLEY: What's he doing, Doctor?
DOCTOR: What any fanatical high priest in his right mind would do,
(The peal of bells in the background starts up.)
DOCTOR: He's grabbed the remains of the bodies and legged it.
CHARLEY: True to type.
DOCTOR: He'll be down some bolt-hole in some smoky cellar and
worshipping those ashes and twigs faster than you can say Jack Robinson.
CHURCHWELL: He got away. He took them. He took their corpses wrapped up
in his cloak.
DOCTOR: You can't stop him worshipping and fantasising what he
wants to, Churchwell. You can't even stop him from striking up a brand
new lunatic cult, but at least those ghastly ashes are off your hands
now. You've just got to get on with it, and make sure you're starting
the whole thing off on the right footing.
CHURCHWELL: But the paintings. Will the paintings be safe?
DOCTOR: Many things will have been lost, I imagine. It was a rather
CHURCHWELL: I must go at once and check.
CHURCHWELL: No. It will wait. Either they are there safe in the museum,
or they are gone.
DOCTOR: Wise man, Churchwell. After all, you wouldn't want to be
like the ghastly Vincenzo, would you? Scrabbling after revenants and
relics and horrid souvenirs?
CHARLEY: So what you're saying, Doctor, is that you can't live
your life through objects. Is that your little moral?
DOCTOR: Charley, as if I'd ever come up with a moral. But yes, I
suppose I do think that.
CHARLEY: Doctor, you're as bound up in objects as the rest of
us. Oh, you pretend to be the vagabond and all, but that Tardis of
yours is crammed full of nonsense. I believe it's time we got back and
started cleaning it up and clearing some of the old junk out.
DOCTOR: Never. I, I was talking about religion and misplaced
faith, not bric-a-brac and things that might come in useful. But
that reminds me. It's probably time we were on our way. Pietro, could
you give us a lift?
CHURCHWELL: It's goodbye then, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Think yourself lucky, Churchwell. If I were to stay I'd
only cause more chaos. I reckon it's time these Venetians were left to
rebuild their city in peace. But while I'm here, I'll put in a word for the gondoliers,
for Pietro's people. It doesn't do to have an underclass, you know, it
really doesn't do at all.
(Boat moving on water.)
DOCTOR: This is a lot easier than it looks. I'll soon have the hang
CHARLEY: How's he doing, Pietro?
PIETRO: (laugh) Not bad.
CHARLEY: Pietro says you're not bad, Doctor.
DOCTOR: (laugh) Cheek. I could have the hang of this in no time.
You know what, I might just hang up my travelling hat for good and take
up being a gondolier full time. It's quite relaxing.
CHARLEY: You don't wear a hat.
DOCTOR: I might get one of those nice stripy tops.
PIETRO: I've been thinking it over. I still think it's incredible such
a myth should grow up around the Duke and Estella. Just two people. All
that mess, just because of them.
DOCTOR: It's amazing to me that human beings can invest so much
emotional energy into legends, into stories like this, but they always
CHARLEY: Oh, you two men. What do you sound like?
DOCTOR: What do you mean?
CHARLEY: It was all about love in the end, wasn't it?
DOCTOR: I suppose so.
CHARLEY: Oh, don't go all sheepish, Doctor, you know it was. Don't
you think it's fantastic? A love affair that could lay waste to a whole
DOCTOR: Yeah. Sounds a little inconvenient to me.
CHARLEY: They still loved each other in the end, after
everything. They knew they had to die together, right at the bitter end.
PIETRO: A hundred years of waiting. I can't imagine it.
DOCTOR: It isn't that long.
CHARLEY: Oh, here we go. The mysterious Doctor holds forth
again about the nature of Time. Get punting, Doctor.
DOCTOR: It, it, it isn't that long, really, a hundred years of
CHARLEY: Well, it would be for me. It would be for anyone if
they had to wait that long for someone to return.
I hope you'd never abandon me like that, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Abandon you? No, and I wouldn't lose you in a game of cards
either. Of course not. You're my best friend.