The Southwell Park Mermaid single work   short story   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2004... 2004 The Southwell Park Mermaid
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'The Doctor and Chris investigate reports of UFO sightings on a 21st-century Australian beach, but are diverted by reports of a mermaid sighting. The Doctor eventually tracks down the mermaid, and learns that she's a human who has somehow been biologically adapted to survive in the sea. Chris spots the UFOs moving about the body of a drowned swimmer and takes a photograph of them, and the Doctor identifies them as flying horseshoe crabs. The crabs are the oldest living things on Earth, and some have evolved into sentient beings who are hiding in plain sight amongst the human race; in 200 years' time, humanity will find evidence of their existence and name them as the unknown quantity, the X. The Doctor learns that many of the people at the beach have been drawn here by some powerful compulsion, and that they all come from an area seeded with a genetically engineered virus designed to destroy the plants grown by an illegal drug ring. At first, the Doctor suspects that the authorities and the X are in league and are experimenting upon the Australian citizens, but he soon realises that what's happening here is in fact an accident. The X seeded human DNA with the "mermaid" genes long ago, for reasons of their own, and the human genetic engineering has accidentally activated the recessive genes too early. The Doctor realises that Councillor Nguyen, who has also been investigating the mermaid sightings, intends to capture her and conduct experiments on her in order to increase Australia's understanding of genetic engineering and help to make it a world power; he tries to stop her, but the X get there first and rescue the mermaid. More people are entering the water, and the mermaid assures the Doctor that the X will take care of them, as they consider this accident their responsibility. The X return the Doctor to the shoreline and leave him there, understanding the nature of the problem but unable to do anything else to solve it.'

[The Doctor is the Seventh Doctor.]

Source: ( Sighted 20/5/11

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y Life Science : A Short-Story Collection John Binns (editor), Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2004 Z1780540 2004 anthology short story science fiction

    'From the very beginnings of DNA itself, the essence of life has been renewal and change. As genetic data mutates, replicates, replaces its forerunners and adapts to its environment, the diversity of life is ever-changing, ever-growing. And as we discover more about the processes that make us what we are, so we also gain the power to change them -- and even to create life in new and unfamiliar ways.

    With the Doctor, this new world of scientific frontiers opens up into a whole universe of possibilities -- some horrific, some mysterious, some beautiful. A robot discovering its capacity to dream. A living language, expanding to control and subjugate the human population. A life form that connects one universe and another, lurking in the London Underground. Virtual-reality people, living a not-so-virtual life of their own. An auctioneer of body parts, developing his own new life forms from the remains of others. A sentient android, whose form and thoughts have grown from a telepathic link with the occupants of the TARDIS.

    The Doctor himself, of course, is not immune to change, and the passage of time takes its toll on his body and his soul. But even as he sees his friends and enemies age and die beside him, his own life is somewhat different -- and every now and again, he becomes an entirely new man...'

    Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2004
Last amended 4 Aug 2011 14:41:43
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