He Jests at Scars...

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He Jests at Scars...
Album cover
Big Finish Productions audio drama
Series 'Doctor Who Unbound'
Release no. 4
Featuring Michael Jayston as the Valeyard
Bonnie Langford as Mel
Written by Gary Russell
Directed by Gary Russell
Produced by Jason Haigh-Ellery
John Ainsworth
Executive producer(s) Jacqueline Rayner
Production code DWUN4
Length 1 hr 18 mins
Release date August 2003

He Jests at Scars... is a Big Finish Productions audio drama based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The Doctor Who Unbound dramas pose a series of "What if...?" questions.


What if... the Valeyard had won at the end of The Trial of a Time Lord?

The Valeyard has taken possession of the Doctor's lives, past and present, and becomes practically immortal. He decides to undo the "mistakes" the Doctor has made in the past. He destroys the Daleks, awakens the Silurians centuries earlier to change Earth's development, changes time so that he and Mel never meet and uses the Doomsday weapon from Colony in Space to destroy not only Gallifrey but the whole of the constellation of Kasterborous.

The Time Lords witness their destruction via the Matrix and enlist Mel to stop the Valeyard either by reaching the dormant Doctor who still lives within the Valeyard or by killing him directly. In the meantime the Valeyard accidentally destroys the Fourth Doctor's TARDIS when he destroys Logopolis. This creates a paradox that threatens to unravel the web of time and may kill the Valeyard. In order to prevent it, he goes further back in time and destroys Logopolis before the Fourth Doctor visited it.

However, the Valeyard then realises the web of time has outsmarted him as he had visited Logopolis while he was the First Doctor, whom he has just killed. The Valeyard then finds the more he tries to correct his mistake, the more damage he does to the web of time. Meanwhile, Mel has pursued the Valeyard for ten years and finds herself in a prison on a world that resembles Brighton along with other creatures capable of time travel (including ones from The Space Museum, The Apocalypse Element and Warriors' Gate.) She has become more world weary as a result of her travel; and eventually confronts the Valeyard, who claims that he is no longer the Doctor as he has killed all his previous selves.

Mel attempts to kill the Valeyard but does not succeed. Suddenly everything dissolves and Mel finds herself in the TARDIS. The Valeyard is there as well, but is terrified. He tells Mel that the world she was on was an illusion that he created; he had done so much damage to the web of time that he became too scared to even move. The TARDIS is the only thing that is left; and neither he nor Mel can move until the universe has repaired itself. Unfortunately for Mel, it will probably take thousands, if not millions of years to repair the damage.


Other parts played by members of the cast.


  • Author Gary Russell has said that this story was partly inspired by the Marvel Comics miniseries Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect, in which a future, evil version of the Incredible Hulk ruled over a devastated post-apocalyptic Earth. In the play, Mel says "You wouldn't like me when I'm angry," a classic Hulk quote.
  • In addition to the references to many creatures and stories from previous adventures, there are dialogue references to other stories. For example, Mel saying the Valeyard is the Doctor whether he likes it or not is similar to a line the Sixth Doctor delivered in The Twin Dilemma. The Valeyard also mocks Mel's obsession with "carrot juice, carrot juice, carrot juice", which was infamously Colin Baker's last line (on television) as the Doctor.
  • The story's title comes from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet; the complete line is "He jests at scars that never felt a wound", spoken by Romeo immediately prior to Juliet's balcony entrance in the famous balcony scene, and before Romeo's well-known line "But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?"
  • The Valeyard states that Mel was born on July 22, 1964. This is Bonnie Langford's real life date of birth.
  • Co-ordinator Vansell previously appeared in Sirens of Time, The Apocalypse Element and Neverland.
  • A Pakhar was also heard in the audio drama Bang-Bang-a-Boom!

External links[edit]