Class Logo 'The Metaphysical Engine, or
What Quill Did'

by Patrick Ness
Class Cast

Miss Quill leaves the students in detention and then joins Miss Ames in the gym hall; the headmistress informs her that by the end of the day she will either be dead or with her freedom. A teleport beam brings the third member of the team: a soldier named Ballon, a prisoner of the governors who will be Miss Quill’s surgeon. Miss Ames produces a cylindrical device, an unstable piece of very old technology that when activated emits three energy beams that pull the trio into itself. Inside the device, Miss Quill experiences a tumult of motion… and then comes to in an alien forest. When Miss Ames encourages her to recall her first memory, Miss Quill thinks of her birth, when she ate her mother; then Ballon chases and kills a small creature, which Miss Quill is amazed to recognise as an Arn. Miss Ames explains that they are in the birthing grounds of the Arn, and need the creature’s pheromones to help remove Miss Quill’s implant; the device the headmistress used is a Metaphysical Engine, which actually makes beliefs real, and brought them to Miss Quill’s idea of ‘Arn Heaven’. Miss Ames activates the device again, pulling them inside the Metaphysical Engine; reassuring her passengers that although she has only ever used the engine in simulations, she knows what she is doing, the headmistress also reveals that the governors believe the tears in space time have a purpose. Questioned as to his motive, Ballon reveals that he wants his freedom: he is a Lore, a shapeshifter who came to Earth and then posed as a Zygon. The Metaphysical Engine transports the trio to a dark cavern, the hell dimension of Ballon’s people, where they need to obtain the blood of the shapeshifters’ god to use as a key to unfreeze Ballon’s hands. As the creature approaches, Ballon cowers in fear; but after some encouragement from Miss Quill the shapeshifter agrees to face his god. As Ballon takes out his knife Miss Quill grabs his arm and helps him slay the creature. Back inside of the Metaphysical Engine, Miss Ames consults her notes: they must next obtain a Quill brain from the Quills’ afterlife. The trio arrive inside the first Quill nest, just as the Quill goddess is about to be born. Miss Quill tries talking to the creature, but just as she seems to get through to her, Ballon attacks and decapitates the creature. Having created a cairn for the body, Miss Quill questions Ballon and learns that after his entire race was slain, Ballon fled to Earth as a lone refugee; before UNIT could get to him he was captured by the governors, and frozen in mid-shape. Miss Quill reveals that her mate died in the Rhodian-Quill war, and now she wants vengeance on the last of her oppressors: Charlie. The Arn in Miss Quill’s head shifts, fighting her as she starts to believe Miss Ames’ plan will work. The headmistress transports them back to the gym hall in Coal Hill Academy, leaving Ballon to use the retrieved objects to prepare for Miss Quill’s operation while she speaks to the governors. Ballon transforms his finger into a long blade and then pierces Miss Quill’s eye, cutting out the Arn and then stamping on it. With Miss Quill in agony, Ballon puts part of the Quill goddess’ brain into the hole in her brain; using his shapeshifting ability and the blood of his god he manipulates the Quill’s flesh, repairing the damage but leaving a large scar running over her eye. Despite the pain, Miss Quill is overjoyed, and after thoroughly destroying the Arm she then kisses Ballon with a passion… Later, Miss Quill awakes next to Ballon to discover that the hall floor is now covered in sand; together they look outside the school, where the landscape is that of a desert world. A hologram of Miss Ames appears and reveals that they were never in the school – they are inside the Cabinet of Souls, where time runs differently. The headmistress gives Miss Quill and Ballon a single gun: the governors only have enough energy to retrieve one of them, so they must fight to the death. When Miss Quill and Ballon refuse to kill each other, Miss Ames provides the shapeshifter with some motivation: there is another Lore on Earth, his niece. As the image of Miss Ames vanishes Miss Quill and Ballon both lunge for the gun – as soldiers they know they have no choice but to fight. Ballon grabs the weapon and fires – but the beam fires backwards, killing him instead. After burying his body, Miss Quill finds herself surrounded by Rhodian souls; she touches one and her hair is suddenly much longer, as the soul takes more of her life from her. When Miss Quill demands to see a way out, an opening appears in the air before her; she pulls herself through, emerging from the Cabinet and into her own living room. Returning to Coal Hill Academy with her new gun, Miss Quill arrives in time to free Charlie from the energy manacle that is pulling him inside the prison meteorite. Tanya, Ram and April quickly leave, but Charlie and Matteusz remain, wondering why Miss Quill now has long hair and an injured eye, and how she was able to use a weapon. In response, the teacher throws a plastic bag at the prince – the Arn implant that was removed from her brain. Miss Quill has her free will back, and now things are going to change – but then she passes out…

Katherine Kelly (Miss Quill), Greg Austin (Charlie Smith), Fady Elsayed (Ram Singh), Sophie Hopkins (April MacClean), Vivian Oparah (Tanya Adeola), Jordan Renzo (Matteusz), Pooky Quesnel (Dorothea Ames), Chiké Okonkwo (Ballon, Spencer Wilding (Quill Goddess)

Directed by TBC
Produced by Derek Ritchie
Executive Producers Brian Minchin, Steven Moffat and Patrick Ness
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC Three):
26th November 2016 @ 10.00

*Featuring Miss Quill, with Charlie, April, Ram, Tanya and Matteusz

*This episode was later shown on BBC 1 on 20th February 2017 @ 10.45 pm