The Hounds of Artemis
When Lord Woolcroft and his team break open the fabled Tomb of Artemis, sealed for thousands of years, they are astonished by what they find inside…
The Doctor and Amy have come to Smyrna in 1929 to investigate a mystery. The Doctor knows that something very bad happened there: something that caused a lot of people to die and an entire, magnificent Temple to be found and then immediately lost again.
But he doesn’t know what is picking off the archaeologists one by one, or how it is connected to the terrifying howling in the night. And as he and Amy get closer to the terrible truth behind an ancient evil, he begins to wish he’d never found out.
The Hounds of Artemis has been written specially for audio by James Goss, and is read by Matt Smith as The Doctor, and Clare Corbett as Helen Stapleton, The Hounds of Artemis features the Doctor and Amy Pond as played by Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in the acclaimed series from BBC television.
Lord Woolcroft tells a small crowd that he is about to make history. They are about to open the long-sealed Tomb of Artemis. As he breaks down the door silence falls. There is a gap in the stonework and something is seen moving in the chamber. Bradley Stapleton thrusts his torch inside, and the Doctor steps out to warn them that they are in treble danger.
Helen Stapleton, Bradley’s granddaughter, writes a letter to a museum curator on the day of her relative’s death. She has a package that tells the tale of her grandfather’s doomed expedition to Smyrna in 1929. It has a diary and some notes (in another hand) along with an apology from the Doctor for missing the funeral. Helen uses the diary and notes to relate the story.
The Doctor and Amy introduce themselves as Doctor John Smith and Miss Pond from the Scarman Institute. Amy points out that they are on the wrong side of the door while the Doctor blusters that Stapleton is a brilliant archeologist. He also introduces Woolcroft as ‘the money’. Apart from the expedition’s artist, these are all that remain of the original party. Woolcroft says that the dig has not gone smoothly. The Doctor repeats that the temple is not safe. Woolcroft demands to know what they were doing inside the tomb. Amy says they entered through the back door and asks if they can leave the crypt to get some fresh air.
They emerge into a warm night. In the sky they can see so many stars and the Doctor tries to point out Vortis. Amy steps back to look at the enormity of the temple. The Doctor draws Amy away to tell her that this is established history and a lot of people die there but he wonders if Amy never having heard of it allows him to interfere.
The diary is written by Amy Pond.
Amy is supposed to be cleaning and classifying pottery fragments. She cheats with print-outs from Wikipedia and takes photographs and complains about the heat. She notes that the Doctor and Bradley have become very close. Bradley is intimidated by the Doctor. Lord Woolcroft is a lecherous man by day and drunk by night. The artist, Miss Van der Cass, has filled Amy in on the goddess Artemis. Amy is surprised that the locals denied any knowledge of the temple. They claim the site is cursed. Most of the villagers keep away except for one very old lady. At night the place is even creepier.
Over a campfire and some cocoa, Miss Van der Cass says she has come on the expedition for the adventure. She says that on the first night in the camp a strong wind blew out all the nights and one of the workmen screamed and disappeared. This has been repeated every night. At this point a wind blows up and Amy hears the sound of wolves. The storm blows dust so strongly that nothing can be seen. Amy and the Doctor try to find each other but as she runs towards him she realises that she is running towards a wolf standing on its hind legs. As she changes direction she is found by Bradley. As the storm dies away they find that three more of the party has vanished.
The next day Amy asks Bradley if it isn’t too dangerous to stay. She finds the Doctor, digging. He says that the three members of the expedition will not leave because of the money, adventure and fun of it all. The Doctor takes Amy down to the village. On the way he chats to the old woman who weaves carpet at the edge of the camp. The Doctor is delighted by the pattern on the carpet she is making. It shows the worshippers of Artemis, a moon and a wolf (or a hound). In the village, the story of the wind and dog-men abound. Villagers, too, have been disappearing. The Doctor tells the men of the village to stop going up to the site to help with the digging. This leaves only the Doctor and Bradley to do the digging.
Amy asks what is in the tomb. He tells her that the statue of Artemis apparently fell out of the sky. He is hoping it is a golden statue that has been hidden in the tomb. When the Doctor opens the tomb Amy and Bradley enter to find a statue of a hound. It has the body of a man with the head of a hungry hound. The Doctor points out an empty plinth beside it.
That night they ate corned beef from tins while Woolcroft drank brandy. The Doctor tries to urge them to leave but Woolcroft refuses. The Doctor asks him whether he believes that the body of Artemis is in the temple. He repeats his request that they leave. A dog howls in the distance. That night Amy joins the Doctor on guard outside the tents. The Doctor warns her that they are up against great danger. He wishes they could run away but they can’t: what happens is set in stone. He tells her that they will find out what happens after the sun has risen.
The next day sees Amy buy a carpet from the old lady at the end of the road. By dusk the Doctor has been digging all day and made another discovery. Amy runs down to see a new corridor that the Doctor has broken through to. The walls are carved and glowing. The Doctor once again points out that it is an obvious trap but the party steps through anyway. The Doctor shows her footprints in the dust. Miss Van der Cass thinks they are the steps of ancient men but the Doctor says some are claws and others are booted. Woolcroft passes through, thinking that the locals have been raiding the tomb.
In the glow, they see a pretty girl who smiles and welcomes them. She says she has been waiting for a long time and pulls aside a curtain. She promises them fun as they step into a vast hall. The girl addresses the Doctor by name and shows them a huge feast piled on the tables. Towering over it is the statue of Artemis smiling down at them.
The Doctor stares at the statue, the table and the priestess. He tells Amy that they mustn’t look at the statue. He says that the feast is all in her brain and fights not to think about it. A howling, shuffling noise comes from behind the statue. He tells Amy to leave and she does. The hounds of Artemis enter the room. The priestess, Sophia, asks where Amy has gone and sends two of the hounds to fetch her back.
Amy has run up the corridor but stops to write in her diary about how much she loves Artemis. Miss Van der Cass and Lord Woolcroft help themselves to the feast. The Doctor dips his hand dreamily into a bowl of fish fingers and custard. When Amy sees what she has written she calls herself ‘mental’ and runs on. Bradley warns them that there is something wrong with the food. When he looks at it, he says, it looks wrong. The other two have already eaten before the Doctor sees it for what it is: rotting meat and bones.
Amy hides outside the temple as the hounds follow her. She writes in her diary the words ‘Stand still. I can help you.’
Bradley realises that the other two have been eating people. Sophia shrugs and tells them that Woolcroft and Van der Cass have eaten the food of the gods.
Amy watches the hounds pass by and into the night. A voice in her mind tells her that it can help her.
Woolcroft and Van der Cass begin to transform into dogs. The Doctor leans in and tries to talk to them gently, asking if they are still human. There is no response. The two new dogs slink out after Amy. The Doctor marches up to the statue and accuses it of being an alien psychic parasite. He says that it has been sealed up by its priestess due to its cruelty, and left alone for thousands of years. Sophia says that there is enough greed in the world outside to find more converts for Artemis.
Amy finds herself running from the hounds and yet still trying to write in her diary. Somebody is still in her head. Meanwhile, the Doctor asks Sophia how she came to be the priestess. She says her family ate the feast and became dogs. She herself was kept as the priestess. Then she tells him that the women of the village have the ability to read minds which the Doctor puts down to having the psychic parasite in such proximity for so long. The Doctor and Bradley notice that the statue is putting on weight.
Amy stops running when she reaches the old carpet maker. The old lady stands up and Amy can’t see her eyes. She runs on and is confronted by a hound in Miss van der Cass’s clothes. She keeps running back to her tent. She goes through her notes to see if there is anything in their findings that will help her. The voice in her head tells her that she should have run just as claws rip through the tent.
Two hounds enter the room carrying a carpet. They unroll it to reveal Amy. She notices that the dogs are beautiful and the room is perfect. The Doctor tries to snap her out of the hypnotic trance. He wakes her up with some of Miss Van der Cass’s smelling salts. Now she can see the human remains on the table. She asks the Doctor what they are going to do but he stands motionless. Amy asks if he is fighting a mental battle but he is looking at the carpet. He gets Sophia to look at the pattern showing hounds and an iron circle. The Hounds leap at them but stop almost in mid air. Sophia is holding them back with her mind. She says that she tried to let Amy escape and she had the dogs bring the carpet. She says she will give them a head start with the last of her will. As they leave, she turns into a hound.
As the others start to run, the Doctor explains that the villagers’ ancestors had sealed Artemis in with a circle of iron and were using the carpets to keep the secret alive. Sophia has done her best for them but now they need a circle of iron. The hounds pursue them but the Doctor holds them back with a blast of sonic energy. The hounds cringe in agony while the trio edge past them. The Doctor intends to drive the dogs out of range of Artemis to gain their freedom. The Doctor reaches into Amy’s dress and pulls out the large expanse of wiring.
The creature that had once been Sophia leaves the chamber, followed by Artemis. They find the doorway blocked by a cage of wiring. The statue smiles calmly. The hound says it can walk through the wire but the Doctor says he believes they are imprisoned and that is enough the statue explains that the temple has been found and therefore people will return and Artemis will be freed. The old woman appears on the scene. She smiles at the scene before her. She says that she has been watching and has come to help. She is joined by the women of the village. The Doctor says that they are his telepathic army and shuts his eyes, as do the villagers. The hills above the temple collapse and bury the temple in seconds.
The Doctor beams and thanks the women. He strides away, whistling.
Amy’s last diary entry is addressed to Sophia and Miss Van der Cass. She recounts how they returned to the temple the following morning. Bradley says that people will dig the temple up again one day. He goes to salvage what he can from the tents. The Doctor gives him directions to another temple of Artemis. The sun rises. In the distance the hounds can be heard howling. Amy pulls a tarpaulin from the TARDIS. She and the Doctor step inside and wave. The TARDIS fades away.
The Doctor eats fish custard and Amy runs past a crack in the wall (see The Eleventh Hour).
The Doctor says he is from The Scarman Institute, perhaps named after Marcus Scarman (see Pyramids of Mars).
The Doctor refers to the planet Vortis. (see The Web Planet).
The Guardian released an advance copy of the story on 19 February 2011.
The story was also available as a download from the AudioGO website before the company went into administration.
The Doctor once again uses the alias of “John Smith”. (Spearhead from Space)
The Doctor says he can almost see the planet Vortis. (The Web Planet)