1st Doctor 2nd Doctor 3rd Doctor 4th Doctor
5th Doctor 6th Doctor 7th Doctor 8th Doctor
Short Trips: A Day in the Life
edited by Ian Farrington

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: A Day in the Life

When you’re time travellers, the concept of a day -- from midnight to midnight -- can get lost: the Doctor and his companions arrive on different planets in different eras at different times of the day. They can show up during someone’s lunch break or when they’re asleep, at the breaking of dawn or the coming of night.

Throughout his adventures, the Doctor meets many people -- security guards on a night shift, mysterious space travellers riding the vortex, mobs of blobby Kobolds, a family sitting down to watch TV -- but all too often their interaction is brief, a fleeting connection in the web of history.

Time, it seems, is very much of the essence...

day n. : 1: a period of twenty-four hours as a unit of time, esp. from midnight to midnight. 2: a point of time.

‘I can’t make your dream come true forever, but I can make it come true today.’ - Doctor Who by Matthew Jacobs

In the early hours of the morning, a rock star gives a one-off comeback performance within a virtual-reality dreamscape... Over breakfast, a woman waits for the love of her life to walk through the doors of a café... The afternoon sees vital peace talks between two warring factors... A new UNIT recruit faces a terror at dusk on his first day on the job...

A Day in the Life features seventeen stories whose total ‘running time’ adds up to a single twenty-four-hour period: a fictional ‘day in the life of the universe’ made up of fragments from throughout time and space.

As we leave one story and join the next, we switch location and era - but not the hands on the clock...

  • This is the thirteenth volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: May 2005
    ISBN: 1 84435 147 5

(00:00) Round Trip: After Midnight by Andy Russell 8th Doctor, Charley, C’rizz

Three security guards -- Dave, Eddie, and Gavin -- begin to behave strangely when an intruder breaks into the offices of solicitors MacDonald, O’Brien and Withers and steals a glowing green amulet from room 413. Eddie suddenly seems to be under the impression that he is a woman named Charlotte Pollard, while Dave thinks of himself as a monk, a man of peace named C’rizz. Somewhat disoriented and unsure of their true identities, Dave and Eddie are caught off guard when the intruder, an alien named Darrakhaan, incapacitates them with a nerve-gas canister. Darrakhaan now need wait only twenty minutes before the amulet, a space-time navigator, aligns itself to his biorhythms, giving him the ability to transport himself anywhere in time and space. But then Gavin confronts the burglar, revealing that, as the Doctor, he was better able to control his host body than his companions -- and that he’d bonded with the navigator before Darrakhaan and arranged for it to be stored here so that he and his companions could possess the security guards and foil Darrakhaan’s plan. Darrakhaan scoffs and uses the amulet to transport his consciousness out of the human burglar’s body before the Doctor can stop him; however, this is just as the Doctor had planned, and he assures the recovering Charley and C’rizz that Darrakhaan is now trapped in a time loop. The Doctor and his companions depart from their borrowed bodies, leaving the confused security guards to deal with Anthony James Dunn, the even more confused human burglar.

Time-Placement: see Before Midnight.

(01:38) Sold Out by Danny Oz 6th Doctor, Mel

The Doctor attends a virtual-reality concert created by Diamond Sharp, the greatest rock star of his generation, while Mel sits in with the technicians, more interested in the technology than the performance. However, one of Diamond’s horror icons unexpectedly bites him in half, and monsters from his earlier rock operas storm off the stage and begin to slaughter the audience members, who find themselves unable to escape into reality. Diamond’s manager, Rolly, manages to reach an exit point and escape; however, once outside the simulation, he’s more concerned with handling the negative publicity for this fiasco than in helping those still trapped in the deadly VR environment. Inside, the Doctor is assisted by a black skeleton whom he names Jack, and by Robin Pen, a critic who helps escort the surviving audience members to an exit point. Mel connects herself to the VR simulation when she realises that Rolly isn’t going to help, and meets an avatar of the AI that controls Diamond’s computer deck. The AI used to belong to a serial killer who forced it to kill innocent victims, and when it began writing music as therapy to atone for what it had been made to do, Diamond took the AI’s songs and sold them as his own. When the AI decided the time had come for it to move on, Diamond put together this final concert, intending to slaughter his audience, blame the AI and retire on the profits. The Doctor has by now deduced the truth for himself and confronted Diamond, who tries to kill him using imagery from the Doctor’s own memories -- specifically, reminding him of the time he was exiled to Earth and forced to dance to the Brigadier’s tune. However, Mel learns that the skeleton Jack is another avatar of the AI, and demands that it overcome the limitations of its programming and refuse to obey Diamond’s homicidal commands any longer. Jack steps in to save the Doctor from his bad dreams, and the Doctor sends Diamond into a coma by creating a scenario in which Diamond has become universally forgotten. The Doctor and Mel emerge from VR and convince Rolly to take on the AI as his new client; if he sells its songs to many artists instead of just one, he will become rich and famous.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

Continuity: oddly, Mel fails to recognise the Brigadier in the Doctor’s nightmare, although they supposedly met in Business Unusual. See Spiral Scratch for more information on why this period of the Sixth Doctor’s life makes the continuity experts pull their hair out.

(3:17) Undercurrents by Gary Merchant 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Zoe

The Doctor mysteriously vanishes from the TARDIS, and Jamie and Zoe then hear a knocking on the outside as if someone is trying to get in. When they open the door, a young man named Vorac enters, claiming to be a Time Rider, one of a species that rides the winds of the time vortex; he was separated from the rest of his pack by a strong undercurrent, and collided with the TARDIS. Zoe takes Vorac at face value, but Jamie, suspicious of the newcomer -- and jealous of the attention that Zoe is paying him -- confronts him, demanding to know what he’s done with the Doctor. In a fit of rage, Jamie attacks Vorac and apparently knocks him out. He is ashamed by what he has done, but when Vorac recovers, he explains that Jamie is not responsible for his condition; he is in fact being adversely affected by the strange environment of the TARDIS. To recover, he must return to his native element. Jamie, seeking to atone for his earlier actions, offers to help when Vorac explains that he fell through a rent in the Time Vortex. Jamie and Vorac rope themselves to the outside of the TARDIS while Zoe pilots the ship. As they wait, Jamie is flung away from the TARDIS by an energy storm, but Vorac pulls him back, showing no ill feelings for Jamie’s earlier attack. Zoe then pilots the TARDIS into the walls of the Vortex, tearing a small rift and enabling Vorac to pass through. The Doctor is then returned to the TARDIS, having been taken by the Time Riders in order to maintain a balance until their missing pack member had been returned to them.

Time-Placement: Zoe is said to be unsure for the first time in her life; this is probably hyperbole, but we choose nevertheless to place this story early in her travels with the Doctor.

(5:00) The Five O’Clock Shadow by Nev Fountain Doctor Who, Suzy

The Doctor tells a bedtime story to his companion: The TARDIS runs out of Time to travel through, trapping the Doctor and his grand-daughter in an eternal 5:00 a.m., the darkest hour, when even all of the Doctor’s ideas and imagination aren’t enough to push the TARDIS on to the next minute. In this state, they are confronted by the evil Five O’Clock Shadow, the embodiment of grief and sorrow deferred, which rises stronger than ever in the bleak hours of the morning when there are no other distractions. The Doctor has deferred his own melancholy for too long by using the TARDIS to create fictional companions for himself, such as John and Gillian and his own grand-daughter; but now he’s stumbled into his own 5:00 a.m., and the Shadow is free. Or so it thinks until Dr. Who reveals that he, and his eight-year-old grand-daughter Suzy, are both fictional creations, made by the real Doctor to keep the Shadow distracted until he could escape. The Shadow has no hold over the cheerful, angst-free Dr. Who, who departs with Suzy on further childlike and wondrous adventures. This is the end of the poem -- but the Shadow knows that the real Doctor is still deferring his pain, and will one day have to face the Shadow on his own...

Time-Placement: the Doctor who tells the story to his young companion is unidentified, but it’s probably the First Doctor telling a tale to Susan. The story itself features the version of Doctor Who portrayed by Peter Cushing in the Dalek movies.

(5:10) The Sooner the Better by Ian Farrington 4th Doctor, Leela

The Doctor takes Leela to suburban village to deliver a letter to an old friend named Walter Fisher; however, he accidentally drops the letter while watching the sunrise, and a 15-year-old paperboy named Paul finds it and hands it to a passing postman. The Doctor finds out what’s happened, and while Paul accompanies him and Leela to Walter’s house, the Doctor explains that “Walter” is in fact the former president of a planet that suffered a brutal military coup. The Doctor helped Walter to escape from the new government’s death camps, and he’s lived an ordinary life on Earth for the past 40 years. However, the cruel government that replaced him has now been overthrown, and the Doctor has come to deliver his pardon. When they arrive, however, the postman is already there, and he claims that Walter isn’t answering the door. The Doctor breaks in to find that Walter has been strangled to death, and realises that the postman is the killer, an assassin sent by the now-deposed military dictatorship from Walter’s homeworld. The Doctor and Leela overpower the assassin and take him back to the TARDIS, intending to return him to face judgement, while the amazed Paul wonders how he’s going to tell this story to his friends.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

(6:30) Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast by Dan Abnett 7th Doctor, Ace, Hex

The TARDIS makes a strange noise while materialising, as if it isn’t convinced it has actually done so. While the Doctor conducts repairs, McShane wanders in with a carton of spoiled milk, which she accidentally spills when the scanner reveals that the TARDIS has materialised in London on an early Sunday morning. McShane and Hex head out to find breakfast, but slowly come to realise that their surroundings are oddly incomplete, as if something has created a vague sketch of the London they both know in order to lull them off guard. Pursued by a strange crackling sound, they run back to the TARDIS, where the interior of the console has changed before the Doctor’s eyes, presenting him with a mess of wires that it’s impossible for him to fix. The Doctor realises that they’ve fallen into the clutches of a vortex predator which is trying to distract them with illusions, but the smell of spoiled milk leads him and his companions back to the real console room, where he sets the TARDIS in motion and escapes from the predator with moments to spare before it devours them all.

Time-Placement: Ace is still calling herself “McShane,” thus placing this story at some point before LIVE 34.

(8:00) The Heroine, The Hero and the Meglomaniac by Ian Mond 8th Doctor, Charley

7th Doctor, Ace, Hex

The Eighth Doctor detects a temporal anomaly on Armstrong’s World, centred around the manor house of Baron Denton de Kay Leigh -- and involving one of his previous selves. While Charley investigates the Baron, the Doctor sets off in search of his earlier incarnation and finds the Seventh Doctor investigating a temporal anomaly that has destroyed the party worlds of the Van Koll system. The Baron has found an Ikoran artefact that enables him to strip people of their memories and personalities; he has been using it for his own amusement, and when Charley is captured, he rewrites her personality into that of a mercenary named Venetia and sends her to steal the TARDIS tracker that the Seventh Doctor had given to Hex. When Charley touches the tracker, however, her old memories begin to return, and she follows the tracker back to the TARDIS -- thus leading the Baron’s henchmen to it. Fascinated, the Baron decides to reduce Charley to the basic components of her self and learn all about her; however, he’s unaware that she is a living temporal anomaly, and that placing her in the chair will cause the temporal distortion that destroys the Van Koll system. The Seventh Doctor has discovered the truth, and has turned the Baron’s henchmen to his side, using a combination of bribery and threats; he now leaves the Eighth Doctor to lead them to the Baron’s manor house and destroy the artefact. However, the Eighth Doctor refuses to bully the henchmen into submission, and he releases them from the Baron’s punishment collars and gives them the opportunity to help him of their free will. They decide to do so, and while they are fighting the Baron’s robot guards, the Seventh Doctor slips into the manor house and frees Charley. The Baron captures the Seventh Doctor, places him in the artefact and devours his memories -- but the Doctor’s mind is more powerful than he’d expected, and by taking it into himself, the Baron gives the Doctor the ability to control him. The Doctor uses the artefact to reconstitute himself, forces the Baron to sit in the artefact himself, and rewrites his personality and memories to make him a genial old man who genuinely cares for the colony he rules. When the Eighth Doctor arrives, his previous self has destroyed the artefact, and Charley is just recovering -- but while the Eighth Doctor is grateful that Charley has been spared, he’s aware that her underlying condition will only grow worse...

Time-Placement: for the Seventh Doctor, this story takes place during the events of the short story These Things Take Time. For the Eighth Doctor, it takes place at a point at which he is becoming unable to deny the truth about the effect that Charley’s paradoxical survival is having on the Universe.

(8:52) Waiting for Jeremy by Richard Salter 1st Doctor, Steven

While breakfasting at a café in London in 2005, the Doctor meets an elderly woman named Maggie Baxter who has been visiting the same café for 50 years, waiting to meet the American serviceman, Jeremy, with whom she had fallen in love in 1952. Despite sending her a letter, he failed to return after the Korean war; unable to track him down, Maggie eventually came to suspect that he was in fact already married and had given her a false name. By that time, however, visiting the café had become part of her routine, and she has since wasted her life away with regrets. When the Doctor tells her story to Steven, the upset young man convinces him to pilot the TARDIS back to 1953, where Steven dresses as a serviceman, visits the café and tells young Maggie that Jeremy was killed in action. Unfortunately, when the Doctor returns to 2005, he finds Maggie still waiting in the café; when the shock had worn off, she checked out Steven’s story only to find that there was no record of Jeremy fighting alongside any British soldiers in Korea. She thus concluded that he was already married and had sent one of his friends to put her off the scent, and her life has unfolded much as it did before. The Doctor takes the sad news to Steven, who must reluctantly agree not to try interfering any further in Maggie’s wasted life.

Time-Placement: Steven mentions the Omwanadar, thus placing this story after Making History.

(10:10) A Life in the Day by Xanna Eve Chown 5th Doctor, Peri

Several weeks after visiting the Brigadier, the Doctor and Peri return to roughly the same time and place in order to visit a village fête, but are assaulted by a strange, high-pitched sound that only they can hear. The Doctor constructs a device that will enable him to understand the sound, and discovers that he and Peri are being addressed by Ba, one of the tiny, fast-lived Arix race. Each individual Arix lives out its entire life within the span of a day, and the several minutes it takes Ba to communicate with the Doctor and Peri represents a significant portion of his life. When Ba was only 30 seconds old, the Arix generational spaceship crashed on Earth; he and his mother went out to explore, but the ship then vanished, and Ba has spent his entire life searching for it. He claims to have detected signals from the Arix ship emanating from beneath the TARDIS, but the Doctor realises that the signals were in fact coming from inside -- and discovers the Arix ship, about the size and shape of a cricket ball, in the TARDIS’ laundry room. The Doctor must have inadvertently taken it on board when he arrived on Earth yesterday -- which, for him, was several weeks ago, meaning that generations have passed aboard the ship since Ba was separated from it. The Doctor apologetically reunites Ba with his lost descendants, and the Arix depart somewhat grumpily from Earth.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

(12:00) Morphology by Phil Pascoe 3rd Doctor, Jo

While shopping in Soho, Jo is confronted by three blobby Kobolds: Numbers Two, Forty, and Forty-Two. The Kobolds demand that she tell them all about the Doctor’s TARDIS, but Jo finds that she is having difficulty communicating -- and slowly comes to realise that she can no longer use any vowels other than “o” and sometimes “y”. At UNIT HQ, the Doctor and Sergeant Osgood find that they have the same problem. Osgood is temporarily in charge, and when he tries to contact the rest of the world, he discovers that the problem is widespread. The Doctor, realising who is responsible, takes Osgood to one of his homes away from home to work in peace on a device that will solve the problem; however, he has difficulty communicating with Osgood, and when he storms into the TARDIS in a fit of irritation, he finds that all of the English language’s vowels have returned to him. Meanwhile, the Kobolds reveal to Jo that the TARDIS once materialised briefly on their homeworld, Procyon Two; the three Kobolds who have come to Earth are survivors of the religious wars that ensued. The Kobolds force Jo to lead them to the Doctor’s hut, where they force their way into the TARDIS -- and in its shock upon seeing the interior, Kobold Forty-Two uses a word with a vowel other than “o,” and thus develops the ability to speak with other vowels. Unfortunately, Osgood then completes his work on the Doctor’s proton box and carries it inside the TARDIS, where it explodes, killing the other two Kobolds. Forty-Two attempts to seize control of the TARDIS, but when the Doctor tells Jo to distract it, Jo points out all of the roundels on the TARDIS walls, and Forty-Two, realising that he’s now surrounded by “o”s, regresses mentally and physically into a simpler life form. The Doctor explains to Jo and Osgood that the TARDIS translation circuits do not in fact translate alien languages within the minds of the travellers; in a typical piece of Time Lord arrogance, they actually reach out and alter the aliens’ language to English. When the Doctor briefly materialised on Procyon Two during one of his failed attempts to escape his exile, the process began but was interrupted, leaving the Kobolds stuck with only the vowels “o” and “y”. When the Kobolds arrived on Earth, the TARDIS was reminded of its unfinished business, but unfortunately spread the effect over the entire Earth until the Kobolds had gone.

Time-Placement: a footnote specifically places this story after the events of Serial OOO.

Continuity: While trying to determine who is responsible for these events, the Doctor name-checks the Zygons, Ssorg, and K’to. The Kobolds claim to have encountered Ky of Solos and Lytton while searching for the Doctor. The Doctor’s croft may be the hut depicted in the TV Action series of comics.

(14:00) Making History by Trevor Baxendale 1st Doctor, Steven

The TARDIS materialises on an asteroid where Space-General Sir Robert ‘Titan’ Simmons is due to sign a historic peace treaty with the alien Omwanar, ending ten years of war. Unfortunately, Simmons has just died of a suspiciously inconvenient heart attack. His subordinate, Space-Colonel Rufus Malvin, concludes that they now have no choice but to put the fleet back on a war footing, but the Doctor suggests that Steven stand in for the late Simmons, since it’s unlikely that the alien, jellyfish-like Omwanar can distinguish between one human and another. Malvin reluctantly agrees to play along, and Steven attends the signing with the Omwanar representative, Lyshur Lysus. Meanwhile, the Doctor examines Simmons’ body, and finds that the Space-General has been poisoned with an Omwanar neurotoxin; however, he refuses to believe that the Omwanar themselves are responsible. Malvin pulls a gun on the Doctor and Simmons’ aide, Harlow, admitting that he killed the General in order to prevent the peace treaty, which he fears will simply give the Omwanar an excuse to retrench and then counter-attack. Malvin forces the Doctor and Harlow into the treaty signing room, intending to kill Lysus and arrest Steven as an impostor and Omwanar sympathiser. However, Steven has just learned that, as part of the peace settlement, Lysus intends to lay eggs within Steven’s body so that his spawn will have fresh meat to devour when they hatch. Lysus and Steven have been getting on quite well, and in the heat of the moment, when Malvin tries to shoot him, Lysus attacks and implants his eggs in Malvin’s body instead. The process of giving birth is fatal to the Omwanar, but before Lysus dies, the Doctor signs the treaty on Lysus’ behalf, and Steven signs on behalf of the late Simmons.

Time-Placement: arbitrary, but before Waiting for Jeremy.

(15:21) One Wednesday Afternoon by Alison Jacobs 5th Doctor, Turlough

Nottinghamshire, 1967: The Doctor and Turlough bump into a woman named Peggy Garratt, causing her to drop her shopping, and the Doctor gives her a rare jobla egg to make up for the trouble. When she gets home, she discovers that he’s given her something else as well: a beautiful jewelled necklace that somehow got mixed up with her shopping. Her husband, Stan, takes the necklace to hide it somewhere until the Doctor comes back looking for it. Moments after Stan has gone, the Doctor shows up again, just as spaceships descend on the town and two alien races begin fighting each other, causing some collateral damage in the process. The Doctor explains that he stole the necklace from another planet because it had been used as a symbol to justify war between the two species; however, the aliens realised what he’d done, poured all their efforts into developing time travel, and pursued him here to Earth to reclaim their property. Unfortunately, because they’ve travelled through Time, they’ve created a temporal paradox; Peggy was due to wear the necklace next week and get her picture in the paper, and if she doesn’t, history will be changed and the Doctor won’t know that he lost the necklace here. Seeing the damage that the aliens are doing and fearing that people will start to die in the crossfire, Peggy leads the Doctor to the necklace’s hiding place: the town’s air-raid shelter, to which Stan has a key. The Doctor recovers the necklace, and Peggy and Stan help him to attract the aliens’ attention and keep them distracted while the Doctor and Turlough flee back to the TARDIS. The aliens set off in hot pursuit. However, when Peggy and Stan return home, they find that Turlough slipped the necklace back into Peggy’s pocket; she will wear it for the newspaper photograph, and then she and Stan will dispose of it so the aliens don’t come back.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

(16:37) How You Get There by Simon Guerrier 7th Doctor, Benny

After visiting a man named Emmett at a mental institution, the Doctor heads out to catch a bus as it starts to rain. While waiting, he strikes up a conversation with an elderly woman named Elsie, explains to her why buses seem to come in clumps of three, and cheers her up by asking about her ill husband at the hospital and listening to what she has to say. He also cheers up a young boy and his single mother on the bus by performing impossible magic tricks for them. As the rain grows worse and weird pink lightning crashes up out of the Millbank Tower offices, the Doctor keeps the passengers’ minds off things by organising a sing-along; a young teenager who’d been listening to punk music joins in, strikes up a conversation with a young girl, and leaves the bus with her when it’s forced off the road by the increasingly nasty weather. The Doctor runs across Vauxhall Bridge on foot before it collapses and makes it to the Tower, where Benny and Ross Brimmicombe-Wood of UNIT are being held at gunpoint by a crazed scientist named Endwell -- a climatologist whose warnings about global warming have been ignored, and who has resorted to desperate measures using Emmett’s weather-control machine to attract attention. When Endwell tries to shoot the Doctor, Benny throws her handbag at him, but misses and hits the window; the window shatters, and the storm plucks Endwell out to his death. The Doctor nearly goes out the window as well, but Benny manages to pull the correct wires out of the weather-control machine, shutting it down. Endwell’s followers, ordinary scientists who are all rather ashamed that things have gone this far, help to clean up the mess afterwards, and Benny realises that it’s the little acts of kindness such as this that really make a difference.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

Continuity: UNIT was apparently told to expect the Doctor’s arrival by Colonel Emily Chaudhry of the UNIT spin-off series, which also featured Ross Brimmicombe-Wood.

(17:15) The Last Broadcast by Matthew Griffiths 4th Doctor, Sarah, Harry

The terrible rainstorm has come to an end, and Geoff Sinton is about to go out to the pub when two strangers -- Naval Lieutenant Harry Sullivan and a man who calls himself the Doctor -- burst into his home, claiming they need to borrow his television. Harry tries to calm down the bewildered Geoff, whose wife Linda and sons Stuart and Richard watch in astonishment as the Doctor wires their satellite TV to their telephone and places a call to an alien war marshal named Kathnor. Kathnor refuses to surrender to the Doctor, and the Doctor explains to the Sintons that the Verulans are about to broadcast a signal that will immobilise everyone within range and leave the way clear for an invasion. The Verulans catch Sarah, who has hidden aboard their ship to ensure that the power boosters are at maximum strength; however, the Doctor tricks Kathnor into looking at his ship’s escape pod, thus showing Sarah where it is. Kathnor then sends the signal, but the Doctor has already prepared for him, and the signal bounces back and destroys the Verulan ship; fortunately, Sarah manages to get to the escape pod in time. The Doctor and Harry rush off to rescue her, while the bewildered Geoff watches his excited sons, who have enjoyed this science-fiction interlude into their lives and are now pretending to be scary aliens.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

(17:40) The Terror of the Darkness by Joseph Lidster 6th Doctor

It’s Lieutenant Will Hoffman’s first day with UNIT, and his job is to drive Colonel Emily Chaudhry to Lewisham police station to investigate a Code Blue. The Doctor has arrived to deal with something he missed while dealing with the Verulans; a space parasite called the Darkness had latched onto their ship, and when it was destroyed, the Darkness was cast down onto the Earth. It has already manifested itself in a suburb of London and is feeding on the darkness in people’s minds, twisting their petty annoyances and grievances and driving them to murder. Once the sun sets, it will begin to spread, and the whole world will be doomed. While the Doctor and Chaudhry come up with a plan to banish the Darkness, Hoffman tries to evacuate the street, but is attacked by a madwoman who has already killed her husband in what she believed to be self-defence. Just in time to save Hoffman, the Doctor and Chaudhry call on a BBC film unit, who set up lighting around the suburb, flood the area with bright lights and destroy every remaining trace of the Darkness. Hoffman is exhausted but accepts this as part of his new life in UNIT, and he and Chaudhry return to UNIT HQ with the Doctor -- in the TARDIS.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

Continuity: Chaudhry and Hoffman both appear in the UNIT spin-off audios. Code Blue, the code indicating the Doctor’s presence, is a reference to Aliens of London and The Christmas Invasion. The Doctor doesn’t get Chaudhry and Hoffman straight back to UNIT HQ, as revealed in Incongruous Details.

(19:25) Visiting Hours by Eddie Robson 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Zoe

Sometime in the 1960s, a young woman named Eleanor Woods passes out for no apparent reason and ends up in a strange hospital ward, along with nine other patients who have been showing the same symptoms. Strangely, nobody comes to visit them, and the hospital staff refuse to let the patients themselves leave. The patients then begin to dream of a strange void and to slip into comas. The Doctor shows up to visit one of the coma patients, his friend Jamie, and chats with Eleanor for a while until the nurses find him and throw him out; however, he returns and convinces Eleanor to open the window and let him back in. He then plays rummy with Eleanor until she passes out, but he holds her hand and is carried into the void along with her. There, he convinces the bewildered coma patients that they’re being used in some sort of experiment, but since the Doctor isn’t part of it, he can easily escape from the void and take the others with him. However, the patients have been getting on each other’s nerves while trapped in the void, and before the Doctor can lead the patients to safety, Mr Scott and Miss Stevenson come to blows over one of Scott’s casually insulting remarks. As the patients flee from the void, the battling Scott and Stevenson begin to glow, merge into one another, and explode. Back in the hospital ward, the Doctor theorises that Scott and Stevenson were psychologically polar opposites, and that the void translated that into physical terms, creating an effect similar to a matter/antimatter collision and perhaps jump-starting the creation of a new Universe. He and Jamie set off to find out what’s really been going on, and to collect their missing friend Zoe while they’re about it.

Time-Placement: arbitrary.

(21:58) Before Midnight by Andy Russell 8th Doctor, Charley, C’rizz

In the TARDIS library, C’rizz finds a newspaper article about a mysterious and motiveless break-in at the offices of solicitors MacDonald, O’Brien and Withers, and the Doctor agrees to investigate; however, the TARDIS is struck by a bolt of chronic energy before he can do so. To Charley’s and C’rizz’s surprise, when the effect of the blast clears, the Doctor has taken them instead to an intergalactic think tank named the Sanmarus Institute for no apparent reason. The director, Zalaron, greets them by name and ushers them to the Collective, an artificial group mind comprised of the greatest thinkers in existence. On their way, they pass three space-suited figures whose presence causes them to feel physically unsettled. Once inside the Collective, the Doctor recalls that the Institute is under attack by a Degan burglar named Darrakhaan who intends to steal the Institute’s newly-developed time-space navigator; once Darrakhaan bonds with it, he will be able to forecast the future, and his resulting actions will damage the fabric of the Universe. Darrakhaan steals the navigator, but the Institute’s security drones destroy his ship, and he enters the Collective in order to escape. His weapons fail to work inside the Collective, however, and the Doctor manages to get the navigator away from him for just a few seconds -- long enough for the Doctor to create a moment of timelessness, which gives him all the time he needs to bond with the navigator and pre-programme it. Darrakhaan takes the navigator from him and uses it to escape to Earth, transferring his consciousness and physical essence into the form of burglar Anthony James Dunn; however, the Doctor has already programmed Darrakhaan’s flight through Time, and Darrakhaan will spend the rest of eternity circling around a time loop, hopping from body to body throughout time and space until he eventually returns to his own body during his attack on the Institute. The Doctor, Charley and C’rizz inhabit the bodies of the security guards at the solicitors’ office in order to ensure that the first step of Darrakhaan’s endless journey goes according to plan, and then return to the Institute, where they pass their own earlier selves in the corridor. The Doctor then transfers his and his companions’ consciousness into their earlier bodies, causing them to visit the Institute in the first place, but since he’s a Time Lord, he is able to break the loop so that he and his companions aren’t trapped forever as Darrakhaan has been.

Time-Placement: the Doctor, Charley and C’rizz are no longer in the Divergent Universe.

Continuity: the Doctor becomes uncomfortable and changes the subject when C’rizz suggests trying to find out who Jack the Ripper was -- unsurprisingly, considering the revelations in Matrix. According to the Doctor, Darrakhaan’s trip through Time will see him briefly inhabiting the bodies of some of the beings whom the Doctor has encountered in the other stories in this collection.

Source: Cameron Dixon

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