CARMEN: Something is coming. Riding on the wind, and shining.
DOCTOR: What is it?
CARMEN: Death. Death is coming.
After stealing an ancient chalice from a London museum, Lady Christina de Souza slickly escapes by jumping on a #200 bus. Co-incidentally, the Doctor, who is tracking a worm-hole, boards just before the bus passes through said worm-hole to appear on the desert planet, San Helios.
The Doctor and Christina head off to scout the planet leaving Angela, Barclay, Nathan, Lou and Carmen on board the damaged #200 (BTW did you know the bus really was damaged in Dubai when a shipping container landed on it, necessitating some fancy rewriting).
A pair of Tritovores (fly people) also shipwrecked, assist the Doctor to probe a sinister storm revealed to consist of millions of metal sting-rays, creators of the worm-hole, bent on devouring San Helios before moving on to Earth for afters.
No wonder Carmen’s premonition of death causes panic among the passengers who quickly lose hope of seeing home again. Christina and the Doctor try to encourage them, each in their own way.
CHRISTINA: Stop whimpering, all of you.
DOCTOR: All right now; stop it…. Angela, just answer me one thing. When you got on this bus, where were you going?
ANGELA: Just home.
DOCTOR: And what’s home?
ANGELA: Me and Mike. And Suzanne. That’s my daughter. She’s eighteen.
DOCTOR: Suzanne. Good. What about you?
BARCLAY: Don’t know. Going round Tina’s.
DOCTOR: Who’s Tina? Your girlfriend?
BARCLAY: Not yet.
DOCTOR: Good boy. What about you, Nathan?
NATHAN: I was going to stay in and watch TV.
DOCTOR: Brilliant. And you two?
LOU: I was going to cook.
DOCTOR: What’s for tea?
LOU: Nice couple of chops and gravy. Nothing special.
DOCTOR: Oh, that’s special, Lou. That is so special. Chops and gravy, mmm.
DOCTOR: Chops and gravy. Watching TV. Mike and Suzanne and poor old Tina.
DOCTOR: Just think of them. Because that planet out there, all three suns, wormholes and alien sand, that planet is nothing. You hear me? Nothing, compared to all those things waiting for you. Food and home and people. Hold on to that, because we’re going to get there. I promise. I’m going to get you home.
This proves to be no empty promise after Christina steals a crystal from the Tritovore spaceship and the Doctor uses the clamps that held it as anti-gravitation aids enabling good old #200 to fly them home in the nick of time to London .
The Doctor’s promise reminded me of another promise made to men and women trapped dead on planet Earth.
‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go and prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.’ John 14:1-3 ESV
And Paul affirmed this hope to first-century Christians in Rome facing the prospect of death for their faith.
‘For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.’
Romans 6:5 ESV