|The Cost of Progress|
|Companions:||Travis Killian, Amelia Earhart|
|Main Enemy:||Epoch Talent, Russell Turner|
|Main Setting:||Earth, 51st century|
|Release Dates:||2019-01-16 - 2019-02-27|
|Total Running Time:||247 minutes|
|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 Our 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.
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.
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, he comes across glass classes containing people from different periods of history - including Travis and Amelia, in display cases for the 30s and 90s respectively. She successfully shuts down the laser glass that keeps the hostages secure. The other contained persons also escape. One of the 2010 people 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 B3rc0d3 and Kazaa Napster, cyborgs who were also imprisoned, and find a door labeled "staff only". They slip in to find pods containing people. In the furthest pods inside the room, they see two people apparently being built, like a 3D printer - copies of Travis and Millie.
The Doctor scans the pod people and finds they are approximate facsimiles - organs are present, but not necessarily functional or in the right places. She also scans Travis and Millie to ensure they are real, and they are.
Security enters the room and escorts the group up to Russell Turner, Head of Acquisitions 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 - 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 trio's memories and put them to work.
The Doctor facilitates their escape by broadcasting the Vine to a media chip that Turner and his staff have embedded at the base of their skull, overloading their senses. The group then head to the room where the machinery to remove people from time is located, with the goal of sending Travis, Millie B4rc0d3 and Kazaa home.
As they begin to talk the on-duty security guard to allow them access to the machine, another guard enters and kills him. She removes her helmet revealing herself to be Rhea, a Vietnam-era activist working with other temporally-displaced people to put a stop to Epoch Talent's work. The Doctor's presence pushed up her time table and she wants to destroy the machine now. Reluctantly, the trio agrees, and Rhea uses a bomb to destroy the machine, eliminating the only way of returning everyone to their home time zones.
Rhea reveals that her next goal is to retrieve proof of Epoch Talents' time thievery security guards typically travel in pairs, so one of them will have to acquire a uniform so as not to attract suspicion. After finding locker room, Millie enters where two guards - Fnarg and Jane - find her presence suspicious. Millie unsuccessfully tries to convince them that she's a recently-hired security guard with family ties to the company, and so the Doctor and Travis enter with the Doctor and convince the pair of guards that this was a training exercise to test their alertness and asks them not to say anything. Fnarg agrees, on the provision that they award him Employee of the Month, and tearfully explains that he wants recognition for his hard work. The Doctor reaches into her pockets and gives him a "You're Grape" sticker, and Fnarg sobs heavily.
To be added
'To be added
- The Doctor - Riley Silverman
- Travis - Dan Peck
- Millie - Melinda-Catherine Gross
- Engineer, unknown observer - Michael Nixon
- Game Master, all other characters - Ben Paddon
- Editing and Sound Design - David King
- Theme music arrangement - Drew Krassowski
- Additional music - Luke Baldridge
- Additional library music - Kevin MacLeod
- Story - Michael Nixon, Ben Paddon
- Producers - Melinda-Catherine Gross, Michael Nixon, Ben Paddon
- Kazaa Napster
- Russell Turner
- 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 Thirteenth Doctor once alluded to an adventure with Earhart - whether this will be addressed is as yet unknown.
- 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.
- 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.