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One of the most powerful and mysterious races that The Doctor has ever confronted, ‘The Boneless’ – as the Doctor would later name them; their own name for themselves is unknown – were a race of two-dimensional beings, existing on a plane of existence that was theoretical even to the Time Lords. Having somehow discovered the existence of the three-dimensional universe, they attempted to come into our world while carrying out strange experiments in Bristol, absorbing three-dimensional life-forms into their realm and ‘dissecting’ them to understand how they worked so that The Boneless could manifest in our world. In our plane of existence, The Boneless were able to turn three-dimensional objects two-dimensional and also reverse the process, allowing them to, for example, render a door useless by making the lock two-dimensional so that nobody could open it.When the TARDIS arrived in Bristol, apparently drawn to the dimensional anomaly caused by The Boneless, the creatures began to drain the energy from the ship’s exterior dimensions – apparently as a side-effect of their main project as they never showed any awareness of the Doctor himself – causing the TARDIS to shrink down to the size of a toy, trapping the Doctor inside it and forcing Clara Oswald to act as him instead. Armed with the sonic screwdriver and the psychic paper, and equipped with an earpiece that allowed Clara to communicate with the Doctor and a nanite in her optic nerve that would display what she saw on the TARDIS monitor, Clara encountered a group of community service workers and learned about a series of recent disappearances from graffiti artist Rigsy, who directed her to the flat of the last person to go missing.While investigating the flat, Clara and Rigsy witnessed the creatures attacking as they absorbed a policewoman who had responded to Clara ‘s request for more information – Clara posing as an agent of MI5 who was investigating the disappearances – but returned to the tunnel where Rigsy had been working just in time to witness the creatures emerge from what had been assumed to be memorial paintings of the missing people (In reality, they apparently were the missing people, whose images were now being used by the creatures to manifest on Earth). While trying to communicate with the creatures, the Doctor was able to devise a system of sonically encoded numbers, hoping that the creatures had come to Earth unaware of the damage they were doing, but when they responded with a series of numbers that matched the number on the jackets of both their previous victim and their next target, the Doctor was forced to acknowledge that their ability to read suggested that they knew what they were doing.
As the creatures manifested a flickering three-dimensional form, still somewhat flat but able to move around in our universe, the survivors attempted to flee along a sewer tunnel, but Clara accidentally dropped the TARDIS down a shaft so that it landed on a train line with a train approaching.
With the ship’s defences weakened by its limited power as its interior began to shrink down, the Doctor was forced to put the ship into ‘siege mode’ when he failed to drag the ship to safety, its exterior now a simple box with Gallifreyian sigils on it that prevented anything getting in or out. Recovering the damaged TARDIS, and with their attempt to destroy The Boneless by ramming them with a train having failed, Clara came up with a plan to restore the TARDIS. Using Rigsy’s artistic skills, they created a fake door and hung it on the wall with the shrunken TARDIS behind it, with the result that, when The Boneless attempted to turn the door three-dimensional, they instead fed the TARDIS with enough dimensional energy tto restore its usual size.
Now able to leave his ship once again, the Doctor broadcasts a message to the creatures, stating that he didn’t know if they were here to invade, infiltrate or replace people on Earth, but since they appeared to be determined to play their role as monsters, he would play his own role. Proclaiming that the creatures should be aware that Earth and this whole dimension was defended, the Doctor identified himself as the man who fought the monsters, simultaneously naming the creatures as ‘The Boneless’ before using the sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS forcefield to banish them back to their own dimension, grimly noting that some of them may survive the trip if they were lucky.