|The titular Thunderbolt missile|
|Season 1, Episode 7|
|Written by||The wiki founder|
|The Super Soldiers||Bounder and the Time Lord|
Thunderbolt is a story written by the wiki founder. It is the seventh story in the Surgeon stories and is the first story to introduce the Romanian sisterhood which would come to return in Defenders of Earth.
British and Russian outlawed missiles, including the outlawed Thunderbolt missile, are sent to Romania to be destroyed or to be deposited into the Black Sea.
But the Surgeon uncovers a plot to recover the missiles which comes back to the megalomaniacal supercomputer WOTAN which plans to take over the world once again by converting the missiles into satellites and launching them into space.
PlotThe story first begins with a monologue about the story's main antagonist WOTAN which tells of how it was constructed in 1966 by Professor Brett and like any other Artificial Intelligence came to see the world as needing to evolve beyond mankind. It also tells of WOTAN's destruction and how it tries again fifty years later in Bucharest, the capital city of Romania.
Like in Terror of the Rani, the Surgeon is first seen with his new companion Amanda Mycroft where she asks him if what she had witnessed in the previous story was what he does all the time to which he replies that it is literally "the story of my life" and when she asks whether the machine she is in can travel in time and space the Surgeon replies with:
"Oh yes. I'm a time traveler, Amanda. I've been to the past and I've been to the future where I got you as a travel mate."
He then proves this by redirecting the SIDRAT to his present day and a century ago in Amanda's past and ten minutes later, his destination is revealed when the SIDRAT lands in Romania in the city of Bucharest. However, before Amanda can explore her surroundings, the Surgeon tells her to change her clothing because she cannot possibly be taken seriously in her political attire.
Even if she was, many Romanians would see her as a politician and since she started traveling with the Surgeon, Amanda does not consider herself a politician anymore. Ten minutes later, Amanda has changed and the Surgeon now takes her out to her true destination: Bucharest, Romania; as the pair explore their new surroundings, they soon come across a military convoy that is armed with various missiles with their purpose unknown so the Surgeon decides that they follow it.
Among these missiles is the titular Thunderbolt missile that was outlawed a long time ago in Amanda's time and the same missile that the Surgeon's kind has experienced before thanks to the events of The Mind of Evil with the Third Doctor. The convoy heads for the Army headquarters located in Bucharest where once again, the Surgeon finds himself held at gunpoint.
But an Army General who sees the Surgeon surprises him by telling him that the Army has been expecting him but does not say why...until him and Amanda go into the General's office where the Surgeon asks a) what the Army wants with the missiles and b) why the Army was expecting him and gets both answers from the General:
The missiles that were seen in Romania are originally from Britain and Russia and come to Romania to be destroyed because they are either outlawed or obsolete and the Army has wanted someone like him for two reasons: A), the Armed Forces send the missiles to a destruction point but one way or another, they vanish on the way to the destruction point and B), Anyone who has got in touch with the missiles has gone missing.
This ultimately leaves the Surgeon so speechless that all he can do is refuse to help the Army and leave them alone and continue to explore Bucharest with Amanda. But little do both Amanda and the Surgeon know that as they leave the Army, they are being watched by WOTAN who sends out a War Machine to find him for unknown purposes.
But not only is War Machine 7 activated but WOTAN in fact goes the whole hog and activates every single War Machine in Bucharest. At first, the War Machines operate under secrecy and as much secrecy as WOTAN until one of them comes across the Surgeon and Amanda when they explore Bucharest again and it is here where the machines circle the pair and prepare to take them to WOTAN.
That is, until the Army return to fight their old foes thanks to the Army and the War Machines engaging in frequent battles with them in contrast to the Army shown in The Super Soldiers who use the Cybermen as soldiers but with the Army are twenty shadowy figures who drag the Surgeon and Amanda out of the circle of machines while the Army ends up fighting a losing battle because of the Machines' ability to jam guns.
After being saved by the figures, the Surgeon and Amanda are taken to a deserted Army base or what appears to be a barracks where their saviors are revealed as the Romanian sisterhood who are also fighting the War Machines which come to terrorize all of Romania instead of just Bucharest after WOTAN transmits a signal through Romania which paralyzes the country and affects the Surgeon.
WOTAN now gives the Surgeon a split personality and uses him to communicate its plan to his companion: It has collected the missiles that were sent to Romania to be destroyed and captured them to convert them to satellites which will be launched into space where the satellites will transmit a signal around the world and activate War Machines all over the world.
Once the Surgeon's mind has been completely taken over by the computer, he is ordered to recall to an Army base where he sees the missiles, War Machines and all of the people that WOTAN had hypnotized over the course of the story. When the missiles are completed, the Surgeon is ordered to launch them into space which occurs and even ends up fighting his own companion...until a reprogrammed War Machine destroys WOTAN and releases his mind control on him.
With the computer's destruction, the Surgeon has no recollection of what he has done until Amanda brings him back to reality to which he swears of having a break from traveling and fighting enemies to make him less stressed and make him continue fighting evil. He later reunites with the Sisterhood and tells them that they could meet again some day before entering the SIDRAT and causing it to de-materialize.
Inside the SIDRAT, Amanda asks him where he has in mind but the Surgeon decides not to tell her and instead sets the controls for his next destination away from Romania.
Alongside Destroy All Plants, Thunderbolt is one of the most heavily referenced stories in the Surgeon stories. These include references to another supercomputer that tried to take over the world from South Wales in 1973 and on top of that, the Thunderbolt missile previously appeared in The Mind of Evil and these are just from the classic series; there is however just one reference from the modern series and this comes from the character of Cristina Barbulescu who bears a strong resemblance to Lady Christina de Souza whose design is re-used time and time again in literature.
Links to Defenders of Earth
Like another story in the Surgeon stories in the form of The Yeti Factor, Thunderbolt has links to another story in the form of Defenders of Earth because of the fact that the Romanian sisterhood return in the series as the youth section of the Romanian Vixens in contrast to the students from The Yeti Factor who are independent; the girls depicted in Thunderbolt first appear in The Dragon and the Snake as PHANTOM prisoners while the remainders are first shown independently in Zhakuh:The Eight Headed Monster.