Word Count: 29,593
Author's Summary: The tenth Doctor offers to take a grad student River Song on an anthropological study; the study is side-lined when they discover something has altered 1960's Earth History. Along the way they receive help from some surprising sources.
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor (10th), the Doctor (7th), the Doctor (4th), Ace, Leela, River Song, various historical figures associated with the 1960s counterculture.
Warnings: Some swearing
Recced because: I don't know about you, but I never tire of multi-Doctor stories, and especially not ones doing something as interesting as this. Cards on the table: I was one of the people who beta-read this back in 2009, but I hope that doesn't disqualify me from putting in a good word for it here, because I think all of you should read it and that you might enjoy it rather a lot if you do.
2009 seems like a long time ago now. This story was written pre-Eleven, pre End of Time, even; pre-finding out what the deal actually was with River. Hard to think there was a time when all that was known of her was what was seen in the Library two-parter. The relationship between Ten and River is at the core of this story, and due to when it was written very different to what we've watched unfold during the Eleven years. This is a different River with a different backstory and a different way of looking at the world, written with insight and affection. I can't honestly say that I prefer the "canon" version of Doctor/River from the television stories over this one (and that's probably a massive understatement on my part).
As I said, it's also a multi-Doctor story, and the portrayals of Four and Leela and Seven and Ace in this are just as deftly done - especially, for my money, Seven and Ace, and especially Ace. That alone makes me like this story a great deal.
I think the thing that really recommends this story to me, however, is the plot and the setting. It takes Ten's throwaway remark about Janis Joplin's coat and expands it via a little Alternate History sleight-of-hand into a nightmarish psychedelic vision of a 1960s that is very different to our universe's, where monsters become leaders and heroes become villains and our Doctors and their companions have to fight to save causality itself.
So go and read it, and if you enjoy it (you will, I think), let the author know.
“Have I ever told you how lovely you are when you’re gloating?”
“Do shut up.”
“Right, then, come on, Summer of Love, or Democratic National Convention? Ladies’ Choice.”
“Then I choose the Summer of Love, in the face of two I have always sought the lesser majesty.”
“Jim Carroll, very nice, and extra credit for having quoted him inside his timeline, brilliant!”
“Of, course I am, you wouldn’t have me any other way.”
The Doctor arched an eyebrow but only shook his head. It was a fine line to walk, this game they played.