Neil Gaiman loves Doctor Who, and it appears that Doctor Who, or at least Whovians, seem rather fond of the British fantasy author as well. A lifelong devotee of the venerable sci-fi adventure, Gaiman has already penned a pair of episodes—“The Doctor’s Wife” and “Nightmare in Silver”—both of which people seem to enjoy. As we build up towards the 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” Gaiman is set to release a new Doctor Who short story, and the Guardian just released a sneak peek in the form of the first two pages.
The story, called “Nothing O’Clock,” stars Matt Smith’s soon-to-be-gone 11th Doctor, as well as his recently departed travelling companion Amy Pond, played on the show by Karen Gillan. This is the 11th in a series of 11 short stories Doctor Who short stories, each by a different writer, and will be available for download on November 21.
And not only did Gaiman deliver a new slice of Time Lord lore, but he’s going to introduce a new monster, known as the Kin. Originally imprisoned by the Time Lords, the Kin has remained incarcerated for millennia, and was never supposed to be released. Oops, in the chaos of the Time War, the creature gets out and causes all manner of problems, and guess whose job it is to stop this rampaging beast?
Here’s what Gaiman has to say about the story:
Nothing O’Clock’ stars the Eleventh Doctor, the Matt Smith Doctor, with Amy Pond as his companion. I set it somewhere during the first season of Matt Smith, mostly on Earth, in our time now and in 1984, but also somewhere else, a very, very long time ago. I had never created an original monster for Doctor Who and really enjoyed getting to create a creepy Doctor Who monster of the kind that we haven’t quite seen before… I hope that the Kin will get out there and occasionally give people nightmares. And that you will be worried if a man in a rabbit mask comes to your door and tries to buy your house.
“The Day of the Doctor” airs worldwide on November 23, which just so happens to be the day that, at least in the UK, the book collecting all 11 Doctor Who stories hits book stores. And now, without further ado, the first two pages of “Nothing O’Clock.” Let us know what you think in the comments below.
The Time Lords built a Prison. They built it in a time and place that are both unimaginable to any entity who has never left the solar system in which it was spawned, or who has only experienced the journey through time, second by second, and that only going forward. It was built just for the Kin. It was impregnable: a complex of small rooms (for they were not monsters, the Time Lords – they could be merciful, when it suited them), out of temporal phase with the rest of the Universe.
There were, in that place, only those rooms: the gulf between microseconds was one that could not be crossed. In effect, those rooms became a universe in themselves, one that borrowed light and heat and gravity from the rest of Creation, always a fraction of a moment away.
The Kin prowled its rooms, patient and deathless, and always waiting.
It was waiting for a question. It could wait until the end of time. (But even then, when Time Ended, the Kin would miss it, imprisoned in the micro-moment away from time.)
The Time Lords maintained the Prison with huge engines they built in the hearts of black holes, unreachable: no one would be able to get to the engines, save the Time Lords themselves. The multiple engines were a fail-safe. Nothing could ever go wrong.
As long as the Time Lords existed, the Kin would be in their Prison, and the rest of the Universe would be safe. That was how it was, and how it always would be.
And if anything went wrong, then the Time Lords would know. Even if, unthinkably, any of the engines failed, then emergency signals would sound on Gallifrey long before the Prison of the Kin returned to our time and our universe. The Time Lords had planned for everything.
They had planned for everything except the possibility that one day there would be no Time Lords, and no Gallifrey. No Time Lords in the Universe, except for one.
So when the Prison shook and crashed, as if in an earthquake, throwing the Kin down; and when the Kin looked up from its Prison to see the light of galaxies and suns above it, unmediated and unfiltered, and it knew that it had returned to the Universe, it knew it would only be a matter of time until the question would be asked once more.
And, because the Kin was careful, it took stock of the Universe they found themselves in. It did not think of revenge: that was not in its nature. It wanted what it had always wanted. And besides …
There was still a Time Lord in the Universe.
The Kin needed to do something about that.