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The Jabari Countdown (audio story)


The Jabari Countdown was the third story in the audio anthology The Seventh Doctor: The New Adventures: Volume One. It was written by Alan Flanagan and featured Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor, Yasmin Bannerman as Roz Forrester and Travis Oliver as Chris Cwej.

Publisher's summary

Arriving on a mysterious island, stranded with a group of mathematicians, the Doctor and his companions find themselves on the fringes of the Second World War. Trapped with only each other and an unknown threat, the group must work together to solve a puzzle greater than just one world's war.


After his boat is wrecked, Arbuckle washes up on an island and knocks on the door of a house, asking for Christian charity. There is no answer so he enters and encounters a creature which growls at him. He screams and shouts for help.

Chris tries to make Roz play hide and seek in the TARDIS, but Roz thinks that he is being childish and refuses. The TARDIS is thrown off-course by an alien signal and materialises on a ship in the 1940s where they meet Zsa Zsa Straus, Alpha Wheeler, Eleanor Blake and Lieutenant Fray and determine that a secret operation to defeat the Nazis with mathematics is in place with each of those aboard having followed clues which led them here. Everybody is forced to jump from the ship and swim to shore, abandoning the TARDIS, after which they head for the house.

The Doctor looks around the house with Alpha and, upon finding Arbuckle's corpse in the pantry, has Alpha fetch Roz and Chris. Whilst examining the body, which has "1926" written on his hand, they hear Zsa Zsa scream and go to help her, finding that she has been attacked. Alpha and Wheeler join them, followed by Eleanor, who has solved a puzzle to a numerical lock that she and Chris found. Roz goes outside with Zsa Zsa for fresh air whilst the others open the numerical lock; a timer is activated and the windows are sealed, but not before the Doctor can get a TARDIS key to Roz. Eleanor finds a note warning them that they must find a way to escape before the timer runs out and the device self-destructs.

Believing that the house is actually a spaceship, the Doctor tells everybody that he, Roz and Chris are time travellers. The Doctor and Alpha find an interface for the ship, displaying a numerical language, and Fray is attacked by the creature after finding a diary recounting how an entire population was infected by the Jabari. The diarist planned to travel to Earth to recruit geniuses to help them fight the Jabari and that they would like the company, indicating that they are amongst the geniuses. The diary also contains secrets about each of them, including that Zsa Zsa starred in a Nazi propaganda film and Alpha was dishonourably ejected from the army after her drunkenness caused the deaths of sixty-three British soldiers.

To keep Fray from revealing her secret, Eleanor draws a blaster that she and Chris found under the floorboards. Fray gets it from her and shoots at her and Chris, involuntarily saying numbers due to being infected by the Jabari. Roz and Zsa Zsa, having dived into the sea and reached the TARDIS, communicate with the Doctor through a radio and tell him what they have learnt; the Jabari infect people to make them their slaves and seem to avoid certain planets. Like Fray, Zsa Zsa has been infected. The Doctor exposes Alpha as the alien due to her speech pattern matching that on the note; with the Jabari having stowed aboard, she has no choice but to let the ship self-destruct.

Zsa Zsa, worried that the Jabari will use her to take control of the TARDIS, decides that she will step out of the ship and drown herself. She tells Roz that she comes from a Jewish family, that she tried to hide by becoming an actress and that was forced to make Nazi propaganda films; her real name is Sascha Edelstein.

Searching for Chris and Eleanor, Fray shouts that Eleanor was born "David Blake". Eleanor apologises to Chris and tells him that he does not have to call her "Eleanor", but he is unperturbed and kisses her. Fray finds them and attracts the attention of the Jabari, so they flee and hide in the pantry. They are found again, but the Doctor shouts to them to check the fisherman's Bible for the passages corresponding to the number that the fisherman had on his hand; the passage mentions salt, Zsa Zsa's number is the electron makeup of salt and Fray's number is how much salt makes up seawater. When the Jabari breaks into the pantry, Chris and Eleanor attack it with salt, weakening it.

Zsa Zsa and Fray are cured by the defeat of the Jabari and Alpha shuts off the self-destruct, after which the Doctor surrounds the creature with salt and Roz gags Fray. Zsa Zsa decides that she will help in the war effort and Eleanor joins Alpha after thanking Chris. The Doctor, Roz and Chris return to the TARDIS with Zsa Zsa and Fray to return them home.



  • Arbuckle calls out to St Peter and St Andrew for help.
  • Arbuckle has lobster which he says is the best this side of the Devon coast.
  • Chris tries to get Roz to play hide and seek with him.
  • The Doctor says that the TARDIS is the best place to play hide and seek this side of the Kravilian Maze Planets.
  • Zsa Zsa has degrees in chemistry and several years' experience of computation in a munitions factory.
  • The Doctor claims that Roz can write shorthand.
  • Alpha knits gloves.
  • Alpha claims that she has several grandchildren, including a grandson called William, who has a temper. She says that one of her sons was in a relationship with a woman called Linda and was going to move to Argentina before Alpha told Linda that she would not allow her to leave with him. She claims that her firstborn is called Michael.
  • Alpha says that she has arthritis.
  • Roz finds ham, eggs, milk and cheese in the fridge.
  • Zsa Zsa is Austrian.
  • Fray was at the Battle of Jutland.
  • Alpha offers to make the Doctor a trifle.
  • Alpha claims that she was a geopositioning expert in World War I.
  • Zsa Zsa's father told her to study maths.
  • Zsa Zsa says that Roz would do well with Chekhov.
  • Mimsy Postlethwaite was a neighbour of Alpha's. She went mad after her son died in the war.
  • Eleanor was born in the entranceway to Manchester tram station to Janice, a shop girl, and Richard Blake, an engineer, on 4 August 1911. She was born "David".
  • Chris eats a carrot and offers Eleanor an apple or a banana.
  • Lot's wife is mentioned.
  • Alpha has a wife, Lena.


  • Despite initially being credited as "Eleanor Burke" in the cast credits, within the narrative, the character is called Eleanor Blake. The error in the credits was later corrected by Big Finish.


External links