(Romana goes outside. Itís light but thereís a great wave of black on the horizon.)

ROMANA- Hello? Anyone out there?

TIME LORD- Whoís that?

ROMANA- My name is Romana. Who are you?

TIME LORD- Ah, hello. Iím Pandak.

ROMANA- Youíre Gallifreyan arenít you?

TIME LORD- Yes, a Time Lord. And so are you.

ROMANA- But what are you doing here?

TIME LORD- Oh Iím a scout. The High Council sent me to monitor that. My final mission.

ROMANA- Final? What is it?

(He's pointing at the wave on the horizon. A line of black sky, sucking the surrounding area into it.)

TIME LORD- That my dear is the relentless onset of death. A wave of raw entropy slowly eroding all matter. In time it will envelope the entire cosmos.

ROMANA- But surely something can stop it.

TIME LORD- Myths speak of a key that could halt it. Stop the universe for an instant, restore balance.

ROMANA- The key to time!

TIME LORD- What? Youíre privy to the records of the High Council?

ROMANA- Just a guess. What else could such a device be called?

TIME LORD- I suppose so.

ROMANA- So this key to time, in the right hands it could stop this entropy wave?

TIME LORD- It would turn back the tide. Restore the universe to factory settings as it were.

ROMANA- And we got rid of it before it could be used.

TIME LORD- Speak up dear. Going deaf in my old age.

ROMANA- Old age? But you donít look a day over 600.

TIME LORD- Iím not. Iíve been here 40 days and in that time Iíve seen the entropy wave creep round half this planet. And in that time Iíve gone from my first regeneration to my last. Iím afraid this planet is to be my last resting place.

ROMANA- Oh but you must get away from here!

TIME LORD- Entropy erosion is not a pleasant death. In fact itís very painful. At least it was the first two times.

ROMANA- Then what happened?

TIME LORD- I refused to die like that again. I told it: "You wonít kill me. Iíd rather do it myself." So at the first sign of erosion I effected my own regeneration.

ROMANA- You can do that?

TIME LORD- Oh yes. Itís actually quite fun. You enter a sort of flux where you can take on a physiognomy at will, just for a short time. Believe it or not I chose to look like this.

(With a loud trumpet sound the Entropy wave moves forward)

TIME LORD- Itís getting stronger. You have to leave. I can already feel its effects.

(His skin is becoming charred and blackened.)

ROMANA- No, you must come with us.

TIE LORD- Oh Iíd love to but you see my dear, itís a bit too late for me.

(With those final words he decays and dies.)


The 4th Doctor (custom)
Romana 1 (custom)
K9 (custom)
Time Lord (custom) as shown right.

Back to top

It was meant to fill in a gap. The Armageddon Factor concluded the Key To Time series rather unspectacularly. The Doctor and Romana were sent to assemble the key to time for a reason and this reason was never fulfilled. Surely there are some ramifications from this?
In Tom Baker's last series, a through line in the stories culminating in Logopolis is that the universe is facing a build up of Entropy. It's never stated on screen but surely this is a result of the Key To Time not being used? Coda was an attempt to make that statement and also to provide an explanation for that other mystery at the time- why on earth does Romana regenerate?

Back to top

Although it was only one episode, I didn't get beyond shooting just the TARDIS interior scenes. The script above is extremely first draft- another possible reason why I hadn't got round to shooting it. It's likely that it would have been tightened up before being posted.

Back to top

The story was written in 2006. The new series of Doctor Who was well underway and along with it, toys of the new Doctor and his new enemies. I was still in two minds whether to switch from my preferred 3.75" scale to the 5" scale of the new toys but whatever my choice, compared to these widely available figures, my homemade customs were starting to look extremely ropey. It was the beginning of the end for my custom Doctors and (for a short while at least) the classic series altogether on the AFT.

Back to top

Early in the creation of the AFT there was space for these one episode stories that were designed purely to plug continuity gaps and propose new theories. This one as stated above would have proposed the reason the Key To Time needed to be assembled and the ramifications of the Doctor not giving it to the White Guardian as promised.
It also showed  a possible reason why Romana decided to regenerate and attempts to explain how she can 'try on' different bodies first. Of course recent regenerations on TV have shown that the body does indeed stay in flux for a short time after as for the Doctor in The Christmas Invasion and River Song in Let's Kill Hitler

Back to top