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The Cost of Progress
Season: 1
Story Number: 1
Doctor: Riley!Doctor
Companions: Travis Killian, Amelia Earhart
Main Enemy: Epoch Talent, Russell Turner
Main Setting: Earth, 51st century
No. Episodes: 4
Release Dates: 2019-01-16 - 2019-02-27
Total Running Time: 247 minutes
Previous Story: None
Following Story: The Edge of Discovery

The Cost of Progress is the first serial in the first season of The Game of Rassilon. It introduces Riley Silverman's Doctor, as well as companions Travis Killian and Amelia Earhart, and sets up a mystery surrounding their respective disappearances from the timeline following their abduction by Epoch Talent.

Synopsis[]

On the run from an unknown enemy, the Doctor travels to a museum in Earth’s future where she meets Travis, Millie, and a social media influencer who’s about to ruin everyone’s day.

Summary[]

Part 1[]

October, 1998: In a library in New Jersey, Travis Killian is closing up for the night when a bright white light engulfs him. In the cockpit of an airplane at an undetermined time in the 1930s, Amelia "Millie" Earhart encounters the same phenomenon.

The Doctor arrives at a 51st-century museum exhibit called "The Cost of Progress". After viewing some anachronistically-labeled items, she comes across glass classes containing people from different periods of history - including Travis and Amelia, in display cases for the 1930s and 1990s respectively. She successfully shuts down the laser glass that keeps the hostages secure. The other contained persons also escape. One of the people from 2010 is a Viner, who has Travis film a Vine of him punching a British Politician.

Following this, a member of museum staff activates an alarm and a security field is in place. Some of the former prisoners try to run through the field, but are instantly vaporized.

The Doctor, Travis and Millie are able to escape along with B4rc0d3 and Kazaa Napster, cyborgs who were also imprisoned, and find a door labeled "Staff Only." They slip in to find pods containing what ostensibly appear to be people. In the farthest pods inside the room, they see two people apparently being built, like a 3D printer—copies of Travis and Millie.

Part 2[]

The Doctor scans the people in the pods and finds that they are approximate facsimiles—organs are present, but not necessarily functional nor in the right places. She also scans Travis and Millie to ensure they are real, and they are.

Security guards enter the room and escort the group up to Russell Turner, Head of Acquisition for Epoch Talent. He explains that their role is to pluck people from the timeline at the moment of their deaths to live in the future as a labor force—or in the case of Travis, Millie, B4rc0d3 and Kazaa, as historical museum exhibits. He is comfortable explaining this because he now plans to wipe the their memories and put them to work.

The Doctor facilitates their escape by broadcasting the Vine to ubiquitous media chips that Turner and his staff have embedded at the base of their skull, overloading their senses. The group then head to the Temporal Capture Machine room, with the goal of sending Travis, Millie, B4rc0d3 and Kazaa home.

Finding their way to the TCM room, they begin to try to convince the on-duty security guard to allow them access to the TCM; however, as they do, another guard enters and kills him. She removes her helmet revealing herself to be Rhea, a Vietnam-era activist working with a resistance group of other temporally-displaced people to put a stop to Epoch Talent's work. The Doctor's presence pushed up her timetable, and she feels she has to destroy the machine now. Reluctantly, the trio agrees, and Rhea uses a bomb to destroy the machine, eliminating the only apparent way of returning everyone to their home time zones.

Part 3[]

Rhea reveals that her next goal is to retrieve proof of Epoch Talents' time thievery from Russell Turner's computer and put the evidence into the public domain. Rhea says that she can "escort" the group wherever they need to go, but as security guards typically travel in pairs, one of them will have to acquire a uniform so as not to attract suspicion.

Rhea quickly leads them to a locker room; Millie confidently enters, and she encounters two guards—Fnarg, a lime-green humanoid alien with three legs, and Jane—who find her presence suspicious. Millie tries to convince them that she's a recently-hired security guard with personal ties to the someone who works for the company.

Realizing that her attempts were unsuccessful, Millie now attempts to restrain the guards, but she is unable to do so. The guards level their stun pistols at Millie. Being alerted by Millie, the Doctor and Travis rush into the locker room. The Doctor convinces the pair of guards that this was a training exercise to test their alertness and observational abilities. Fnarg proposes that they award him Employee of the Month for this, as he tearfully explains that he wants recognition for his hard work. The Doctor hugs Fnarg, blue mucus excreting from the alien's face as he becomes more and more emotional, and Millie and Travis exit.

The Doctor then assures Fnarg that he is an excellent employee and reaches into her pocket to give him a "You're Grape" sticker, and taking note of the award, Fnarg bursts into another intense bout of crying, albeit now out of gratitude. The Doctor pushes Fnarg off onto Jane, much to her chagrin; the Doctor surreptitiously exits the room and locks the door behind her with her sonic screwdriver.

Rhea suggests that the group heads back to Russell Turner’s office in order to access Epoch Talent’s files to release them to the public, under the pretense of having arrested the rest of the group to bring them in for questioning. Entering the office, they are confronted by a diminutive man in a dark suit, The Doctor reaches for her psychic paper, but as she does Travis cries out, pretending to have broken free. B4rc0d3, Millie, and Kazaa work together to dispatch the man. Travis handcuffs him, and they send him down in the elevator.

The Doctor uses Russell Turner’s computer to upload the incriminating evidence against Epoch Talent onto the public hypernet, finally bringing about the downfall of the company. The group escape in the elevator, but Russell Turner is now standing on the other side of the door. He brandishes a firearm, knowing that the jig is up for Epoch Talent on Earth and declares that he will start anew somewhere else. Russell then activates a device, and the elevator departs. As the city skyline shrinks in the distance, the group discovers that the building is a spaceship, which is now being launched.

Part 4[]

'To be added

Cast[]

Crew[]

NPCs[]

Major[]

Minor[]

Continuity[]

  • The TARDIS randomiser is reintroduced, having been a key fixture of the Fourth Doctor's era.
  • Amelia Earhart (Millie) is introduced as a companion.
    • The team will later arrive during Millie's own personal history in Lethargica during a time when she is down with the Sleeping Sickness.
  • Travis will later ask about the circumstances surrounding his own disappearance, and the fact that he should be dead, in Lethargica. He will learn what his fate might have been in Hard-Wired, and discover an alternate universe where it came to pass in Getaway.
  • Millie will begin working with Russell Turner after the events of Roman Holiday. (The Doctor and Travis will not discover this until Getaway.)

Production[]

  • All four episodes were recorded back-to-back in one night.
  • At four episodes spread out over eight weeks, this is the longest serial in the podcast to date.
  • This is not the first time Riley Silverman has played an incarnation of the Doctor for an actual-play show on the internet. She previously played the Doctor in a one-off special on a livestream for Hyper RPG.
  • Dan Peck's character, Travis Killian, shares his first name with Travis McElroy, one of the players in The Adventure Zone, and Killian, a character from the Balance arc of the show.
  • The head of Epoch Talent, Russell Turner, shares his first name with Doctor Who television producers Russell T Davies (producer from 2005-2010) and his last with John Nathan-Turner (producer from 1977-1989).
  • One piece of library music from Kevin MacLeod - "Hot Pursuit" - is used in episode 4.
  • Recorded at Geeky Teas & Games in Burbank, California.

Links[]

Doctor Season Serials
Riley!Doctor
2019-2021
The Cost of ProgressThe Edge of Discovery / Where Angels Fear To TrekLethargicaThe Handheld WarDevils From The DeepHard-Wired / Roman HolidayGetaway
Live Show: Roll For Initiative
Active DecayThe Inside JobThe Russian WormFamilyEvolve or DieSwipe RightNew Moon RisingBoth Ends Burning / PerfectionThe Enemy of the Good
Doctor Who Day Special: Recursion of the Daleks
Live Show: Valentine of the Daleks
Live Show: The Search for Fnarg
Everything Must GoNightmare in ToontownUniverse on FireThe Sontaran InvasionsBlood from a StoneHuman NatureThe End of HistoryCold Comfort
Doctor Who Day Special: The Enemy Within
One-Shots: The Game of ClassilonThe Buzzard’s Treasure
Dan!Doctor
2021-present
Season 4 2022
BTS
Live show: Time Squared
Season 4 starts June 1st, 2022
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