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Short Trips: Snapshots
edited by Joseph Lidster

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: Snapshots

A mysterious ghost haunts a hotel in India. The terrifying alien C'rizz attacks commuters in King's Cross station. Beneath a London council estate, a creature is waiting to be born. And on a distant world, an old man trades stories with a strange time traveller.

Throughout his adventures in time and space, the Doctor meets so many people and each one is affected in some way. The waiter who keeps a special table for the Time Lord's granddaughter, Susan. The American student who befriends lost Lucie Miller. The teenage girl who discovers that she may be something more than human.

What is it like when that strange blue box appears in your life? What is it like when your eyes are opened to so much more?

What is it like when everything changes?

  • This is the twenty-first volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: July 2007
    ISBN: 978 1 84435 267 8
Golem by Lizzie Hopley 2nd Doctor
On the outskirts of Leeds, in a rough housing estate, a group of teenagers are jeering and cheering a reality TV show. Their emotions are transmitted to the spirit of a golem buried deep beneath the ground. The golem begins rising to the surface and reconstitutes itself in the form of a teenage girl, another outcast like the teenagers who created her. As she begins to select her first target for murder the Doctor appears in the alley and tells it that the time is not right for humanity’s crimes to be avenged. The golem’s rage dissipates and it crumbles into the earth again.

Time-Placement: Alone, so late in this incarnation.

Indian Summer by James Goss 1st Doctor and Susan
Bombay, 1816. Suresh Parekh is a waiter at a hotel restaurant on the seafront. One night he sees the ghost of an old man appear at one of the tables. The ghost points to one of a trio of soldiers at the same table. The soldiers react differently to the ghost: one is afraid, another laughs and a third appears nonchalant. A few days later, Davis, who the ghost pointed at, is killed in a riding accident.

Over the years Suresh continues to work at the hotel, occasionally glimpsing the ghost. Some of the guests are indicated by the ghost and die soon after. Suresh also notices that he does not seem to be ageing as quickly as the other members of his family. The ghost’s presence has a baleful influence on the hotel manager, Rawson, who confronts the spectre, but the manager appears to be driven mad and is institutionalized back in England, dying some years later. The hotel is bequeathed to Rawson’s older sister.

Another recurring event which puzzles Suresh is the occasional appearance of a young girl in the restaurant. Although her visits are several years apart she always dresses the same. At times she seems confident and calm, at others gauche and naïve. She claims to be looking for her grandfather. Suresh guesses that the ghost and her grandfather are one and the same.

1847. Miss Rawson visits the restaurant and is delighted with the way it is being run by Suresh and his relations. She too meets the ghost and dies soon after. However, she leaves Suresh a letter that tells him that the ghost wishes him to concoct a device from a glass, a cork and two forks. This will allow him to converse with the ghost.

1869. Rather than being an old man Suresh continues to be youthful and robust, outliving his younger wife and brother. When the young woman returns to the hotel Suresh asks her if she is looking for her grandfather and points out that it is 53 years since he first encountered her. She is aghast and wonders what damage they have done.

The following year he meets the ghost again and uses the device to talk to him. The doctor reveals that he was fixing the TARDIS and became adrift in time. Rather than being responsible for the deaths of the various hotel guests it is their imminent demise that gives him a form of stability. Suresh has benefited from proximity to the time ghost, slowing the speed at which he ages. Learning this, Suresh decides to leave Bombay and travel the world, eventually returning years later, posing as his own son.

1924. Still contentedly managing the restaurant, Suresh is delighted when the Doctor and Susan enter, restored to each other and corporeal once more.

Time-Placement: Before Season 1.

All of Beyond by Helen Raynor 2nd Doctor and Jamie
Toria relates the tale of life in a huge bio-dome. The life of her tribe is in hunting and scratching out an existence, followed by an early death. Toria has left her tribe to get over the death of her friend Lissa, deceased after giving birth to a baby that also died. She witnesses the arrival of the TARDIS and is befriended by the Doctor and Jamie who lure her to them by cooking sausages on a campfire. The tribe believes that the world beyond the Edge is devastated and deserted and that they are the only survivors. The Doctor tells them that there was no holocaust and that life outside goes on as normal, prosperous cities and beautiful farmlands. He does not know why the tribe is being kept in the dome, where they have been for centuries. He uses the TARDIS to break a hole in the wall of the dome and allow the tribe to step outside, showing them a distant city on the horizon.

Time-Placement: Shortly after Helicon Prime.

The Eyes Have It by Colin Harvey 6th Doctor and Mel
A blind old lady has called a council exterminator to investigate a possible infestation. Lionel Tooley, the exterminator, sets about tracking down the source of the noise and slime in her house while reflecting on the fact that he comes from generations of ventriloquists, but never inherited the skill himself. He meets the Doctor and Mel who are in the house investigating a distress signal. Together the three of them find their way to the attic and discover an alien, a large insect that has stolen the old ladies eyes so that it can see. The creature has persuaded the old lady to lure more victims into the house so that it can steal their eyes for the reinforcements it is expecting. Tooley discovers his ventriloquist’s skills in time to throw his voice and distract the creature. The Doctor kills it with Tooley’s insecticide and returns the old lady’s eyes to her, performing an adept impromptu operation.

Time-Placement: After The Wishing Beast / The Vanity Box.

The Misadventure of Mark Thorne by Andy Frankham 5th Doctor and Turlough
Celebrity chef Mark Thorne spends his day berating trainees in his Cardiff restaurant before heading into the busy streets. Somehow he trips through the TARDIS doors, stumbles and falls, cracking his head on the console. When he wakes he finds himself in a bed, alone. He leaves the TARDIS and is astonished to be in a field on an alien planet. Neither of the two men that he briefly saw as he fell into the control room is to be found. He walks to a city and sees the Doctor and Turlough being taken prisoner by aliens. Too afraid to help he hides and watches events unfold. He is captured himself by the terrifying aliens. They introduce themselves as the Shev. Surprisingly, they do not kill him but give him food. Before long he is delighting the Shev by creating new and succulent meals. The Shev say they are going to take him on a hunt for their food, which has escaped. All too soon in the chase he realises that the prey is the Doctor and Turlough. Knowing that the Shev eat people he decides to make a run for the TARDIS, secure in the knowledge that neither of the time travellers knew he could have rescued them earlier and so won’t blame him for his cowardice. Pursued by the Shev he arrives in the field, only to see the TARDIS dematerialize, its occupants oblivious to the fact that he is no longer inside. His pursuers catch him, relishing the added flavour he will have after being chased.

Time-Placement: Shortly before Planet of Fire.

Attachments by Scott Handcock 4th Doctor and Oliver
This story is an email from a young man called Oliver Day to his girlfriend, Chloe Elliot; sent February 13 2007.He has recently recovered from a bout of amnesia and has just started to remember that he spent several months travelling with the Doctor. His amnesia was caused by an incident with an alien creature and an explosion in a house. Realising that hardly any time has passed for those that know him, and that no-one would believe him anyway, even the cyber stalkers who try to track the Doctor’s movements, Oliver ends up at the scene of the explosion, in the rubble of the house. He meets the monster again, this time it is threatening to kill him, but he is saved by the Doctor again who offers to let Oliver continue travelling with him. The email is sent from Rio de Janeiro and tells Chloe that one day she can travel in the TARDIS, too.

Time-Placement: Between Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation.

There's Something About Mary by Simon Guerrier 5th, 6th and 7th Doctor
Mary killed her mother in an explosion caused by her telekinetic superpowers. A military tribunal decides her fate, but the Doctor persuades one of the men to adopt her. The Doctor visits her regularly and she grows to trust him, even though his appearance changes occasionally. Learning, at the age of eleven, that she was adopted, she leaves home, but the Doctor tracks her down and persuades her to return. A few years later she makes it as far as Neptune but once more the Doctor returns her before there is an interplanetary incident. When she learns, at eighteen, about the famines in Africa, she transports herself there to help out. Again the Doctor tracks her down and tells her that she was a designed as a weapon and should have been terminated after she killed her mother – she would have been if it wasn’t for her adoptive father. She persuades her father to take her to his military employers so that she can ask for a job.

Time-Placement: Fifth Doctor before Cuddlesome; Sixth Doctor after Urgent Calls; Seventh Doctor early in the New Adventures era.

My Hero by Stuart Manning 4th Doctor
A woman finds a small square, apparently made of plastic, on the floor while travelling to work. She slips it into her pocket, without thinking why. Later, as her train departs the station she sees a strange man (the Doctor) running alongside on the platform. The man reappears at her work and tries to warn her about the object but he is ejected by security. On her way home the square causes a vending machine to attack her on a station platform. The Doctor arrives to disable the machine, which explodes. He takes the square and tells her that it is a living alien. She makes fun of him as he steps into his blue box, until he shows her the interior. The box vanishes and she is left with a disturbing awareness that the everyday world around her is not as it seems.

Time-Placement: Before In Case of Emergencies.

Plight of the Monkrah by John Davies 4th Doctor and Oliver
On an alien planet, in a marketplace, the Doctor and Oliver are drawn to a showman, Gravkrom-Vey. He says that he is the owner of the last surviving Monkrah fish in the universe. He shows them a documentary of the fishes’ extermination at the hands of the Manicoll, an event which caused the Manicoll civil war. Too late, the Manicoll realised that the Monkrah were essential to their survival. Gravkrom-Vey asks for their help in releasing the fish. Oliver agrees, but his task is nothing more than a familiar game where he maneuvers a key along a wire. The Doctor stands back, amused. When the task is done the Doctor reveals that Gravkrom-Vey is an actor who needs to pass his diploma by performing this role successfully then getting the signatures of those he tricked into believing him. The Monkrah is revealed to be a goldfish. After they have signed the Doctor notices that one more signature is required. He offers to take Gravkrom-Vey to a place where he can get it and they transport him to another world. Gravkrom-Vey steps out, realising he is on the Manicoll homeworld, and the Doctor and Oliver can be heard behind him, laughing.

Time-Placement: Between Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation, after Attachments.

Remain in Light by Eddie Robson 8th Doctor and Lucie
Anton Hellinger is staying at a beach house belonging to a friend called Cameron. He is surprised to receive a phone call from the Doctor who wishes to speak to someone called Alison. When Anton says that there is no-one of that name there the Doctor asks him to go to a beach and retrieve a body bag that has washed up on the sand. Reluctantly, Anton agrees and cuts open the bag to find Lucie inside. She has some drugs on her which Anton uses to revive her. The couple returns to the beach house and become acquainted. The Doctor rings to say that he has been delayed but will arrive in a few days. After a night out with Anton and his rather shallow hip young friends, Lucie discovers a decaying corpse in the beach house.

They rendezvous with the Doctor the following morning, and then meet up with Cameron. He tells the Doctor that he has lived in the beach house for three years; a lie because the Doctor knows Alison was living there a year earlier. That night, another of Cameron’s friends, Linus, confesses that Cameron kills people by sucking the life out of them and then appropriates their possessions. Somehow his charisma allows him to do this openly and make his friends believe that they are safe from such treatment while also convincing them that such behaviour is permissible. The Doctor deduces Cameron’s true nature: he is a Concepton, a creature of the abstract that has been given physical form by the fantasies of one of the group of friends. His existence depends on the sustained belief of those that know him. Lucie adopts the guise of Cameron’s (imaginary) wife, Darlene and is introduced to Cameron’s friends. She tells them that Cameron is a con-artist who is trying to fool them all. As word spreads about his lack of integrity Cameron simply disappears.

Time-Placement: First season of 8th Doctor and Lucie adventures.

In Case of Emergencies by Ian Farrington 4th Doctor
In a London hotel, 1910, the Doctor is riding the elevator when it becomes stuck between floors. A conversation strikes up between the Doctor and the lift operator, Philip Fowler. Fowler is talking about the recent death of the king and how he expects it to trigger a wave of change that will sweep across the whole country. As he grows more voluble and excited the Doctor begins to suspect that he Fowler is not real, but an alien device, planted to precipitate revolution. Telling Fowler that he is the thirty third such device he has found that day, the Doctor switches him off. Fowler’s last thought is to wonder if his own tears are even real.

Time-Placement: : Just before The Face of Evil.

Puppeteer by Benjamain Adams 4th Doctor and Oliver
Oliver Day continues his adventures with the Doctor on the trail of a villain known as the Puppeteer. This villain has followed humanity as it spreads through the galaxy, feeding on the warfare and strife of their journey. Arriving on Gondovan they meet up with Annajin Valentin, an investigator in search of the Puppeteer after it possessed her brother Sukhrit. The Doctor offers to help her in her quest, not knowing that Oliver has already been possessed by the Puppeteer. When Oliver attacks Annajin the Puppeteer reveals himself and the Doctor drives the Puppeteer out of Oliver’s head with a sonic resonator. Annajin kills the parasite as it lies on the floor and the Doctor explains its history: it was a Vrund, an alien that crashed on nineteenth century Earth, which tried to bond with a human but was so appalled by the event that it went insane. Sukhrit and Oliver recover in hospital, but the latter is scared that if he reyurns to Earth and his girlfriend, Chloe, residual murderous impulses left over from his experience might lead him to hurt her. Instead he elects to stay behind with Annajin.

Time-Placement: Between Invasion of Time and The Ribos Operation, after Plight of the Monkrah.

Osskah by Gary Owen 8th Doctor
The TARDIS crashes on a world populated by avians. The Doctor is taken to their ailing leader, Osskah, and has to pretend to be divine to protect his own life. Osskah is in the final throes of a fatal illness and the Doctor attempts a life-saving operation (minus the help of the TARDIS which is currently repairing itself). The Doctor tries to distract Osskah’s attention from the pain by telling him about his recent attempts to save some sentient stars after an ailment was brought to their solar systems by colonists. Osskah then relates the story of a civil war between his people which wiped out half their race. The White Tommy flock was eradicated by the Red Tommy flock. The operation top save Osskah is a failure and the two of them realise the truth of the other’s actions: Osskah was the murderous leader of the Red Tommy flock who now regrets his actions; the Doctor’s saving of the sentient stars has opened a rift in space through which the avian world is falling. Osskah has written a book recollecting the history of his doomed people which he presents to the Doctor so that his people will be remembered.

Time-Placement: Late in his incarnation, with possible references to the Time War.

Piecemeal by James Swallow 5th Doctor and Turlough
A series of reports compiled by Saya Rohar, technician on the Pride of Sheboygan. An apparent catastrophe has hit the ship and caused memory loss among the crew. A gap of around a year needs to be filled and only the ship’s doctor and Turlough, his assistant seem to be immune to events. Rohar is surprised that the Doctor has taken the ship off its intended course and is heading for Soloto. She also discovers that an alien in the ship’s hold has escaped. The Doctor tells her that the escaped creature is a memeovore that fed on the crew’s memories, causing the memory gap. The crew had caught the alien with the intention of exploiting it for financial profit. The Doctor has allowed the creature to clear the crew’s minds so that he can take it to Soloto to live peacefully away from harm. Saya sees the integrity of this action and once again permits her memory to be wiped. After the Doctor, Turlough and the alien have left the ship Saya begins to retrieve her memories.

Time-Placement: Shortly before Planet of Fire.

The Report by Gary Russell 7th Doctor, Ace and Hex
Lukas Ryan’s police report about events in Central City on an unnamed Colonial world. The Doctor, Hex and Ace arrive at a shopping mall during a bomb threat. Two LE officers are killed by an explosion but the Doctor and his friends save the civilians and catch the bombers. Lukas asks the Doctor what happened but the Doctor points out an old lady standing nearby. On a visit to her home, Lukas asks the old lady about the Doctor and she admits to having been interested in him since she heard tales about him when she was a girl. She recounts how she was a part of Kellagne’s administration when the dictator decimated the population of his planet decades earlier. At the time she did nothing to stop the slaughter, but even now, six decades later, she still feels the guilt. She tells the officer that it was she who brought the Doctor to this world by contacting him. She drugs Lukas’s tea and while he is paralysed she takes out a gun and kills herself. The Doctor and his friends arrive and clear up the body. Lukas notices that the Doctor carries a similar expression of guilt on his face. In a conversation with Ace she reveals that the old woman became fascinated with the Doctor while they were at school together.

Time-Placement: Somewhere in Big Finish season near The Dark Husband.

You Had Me at Verify User Name and Password by Stel Pavlou 8th Doctor
This story takes the form of a series of emails to the Doctor from Calabria, the Fifth Moof of Trebidden. The Doctor’s replies are not given but can be inferred. The Doctor has apparently saved Trebidden from disaster and Calabria has become besotted with him. She has traced the Doctor to Earth and emails him while he is trying to extract Charley from a Nigerian prison. Her attempt to make the Doctor reciprocate her love involves sending him a massive shipment of gold, as a bribe for Charley’s release. After the payment is made the Doctor apparently ceases his communication.

Time-Placement: : After Minuet in Hell.

Notes: Given Nigeria’'s unfortunate reputation as the home of many internet scams, it is possible that the Doctor’s involvement in any of the Nigerian adventure is imaginary.

She Knew by Nigel Fairs 3rd Doctor
Jonathan Smith has ended a relationship with his boyfriend and decides to spend some time in nostalgic solitude at their holiday home in Llanfairfach in Wales. However, his boyfriend is already there with a new partner. Smith spends the night on the sofa, and then heads off to the Speckled Woodpecker, the village pub. He meets the Doctor and the two of them share a bottle of wine while talking over those that they have loved and lost. Smith confesses how close he was to burning down the cottage the night before. The Doctor reveals that he too lost someone he cared for only the night before. The two men soon part to start their lives afresh.

Time-Placement: Immediately after Jo leaves the Doctor in ‘The Green Death’.

The Glarn Strategy by Brian Dooley 4th Doctor and Romana
In an estate agent’s office in provincial England three co-workers are finding their lives ruined by a barrage of spiteful texts, phone calls and emails. Each is beginning to suspect the other and their previously happy relationship is filled with mistrust and anger. The Doctor and Romana arrive in the office, trying to track down an alien power source. The Doctor offers his assistance and he starts to receive offensive emails. He deduces that this is a prelude to an invasion by the Glarn, who characteristically try to undermine the morale of their targets before mounting an attack. The Doctor instructs his friends to send as many jokes as they can to family and friends and these are soon reciprocated. The Glarn abandon their plans and the office workers go to the pub while the Doctor and Romana carry on their search for the next segment of the Key to Time.

Time-Placement: Before The Power of Kroll.

Salva Mea by Joseph Lidster 8th Doctor, Charley and C'rizz
The concourse of King’s Cross Station, 2007. Luke Tillyard, 30 years old, is on his way to catch a train to his grandfather’s funeral. He encounters Charley, who is terrified that her friend C'rizz has become changed and is on a violent rampage. The sight of C'rizz stampedes the crowds on the concourse and Luke is left alone to defend Charley. The Doctor steps in and there is a Matrix style fight that wrecks much of the station. While C'rizz is strangling the Doctor, Luke notices that live CCTV pictures are being broadcast on television. Luke realises from C'rizz’s comments that he is reacting to the noise in the station, so he runs forward and puts his headphones on the alien’s ears. He turns up the Faithless track to full volume and C'rizz collapses. The Doctor and Charley take C'rizz to the TARDIS and Luke hears laughter inside before the TARDIS dematerializes.

At his grandfather’s funeral Luke is given a letter. It seems that his grandfather knew the Doctor and had helped him on a number of occasions. Fearing that Luke had lost direction and purpose in life, the old man had asked the Doctor to stage an event that would make Luke appear to be a hero and give him a sense of adventure. Luke realises that he isn’t the hero that people suppose, but nonetheless he feels that his life has been changed and he speculates on all the other people whose paths the Doctor has crossed.

Time-Placement: Before Absolution.

The Sorrows of Vienna by Steven Savile 8th Doctor
The Doctor is in Vienna, buying fish at the marketplace when he sees the poet, Goethe, who is screeching and snarling at the ghost of his dead girlfriend. Soon after, the Doctor sees what appears to be Charley. Following Goethe through the city, and across the rooftops, the Doctor also sees C'rizz. They retire to a tavern where the barman tries to persuade the poet to drink some wine. To the Doctor, everyone in the tavern looks like C'rizz. The Doctor realises that the wine is creating the illusion. He realises that the barman is a Bacchanite, a creature that feeds on sorrow, and uses a projection of doomed lovers to trap the creature. He then destroys the barrels of wine and so frees the drinkers in the bar from their private melancholy. When Goethe asks for an explanation of what happened the Doctor tells him to make up a story, knowing that this event is the inspiration for ‘Faust’.

Time-Placement: after Absolution and The Girl Who Never Was.

Fanboys by Paul Magrs --
Non-Doctor story about two young brothers, obsessed with ‘the show’ (Doctor Who) in the days before the fourth Doctor regenerates. Their obsession is a constant irritation to their mother. The younger boy, Chris, disappears from the house one night, sleepwalking into a snowstorm, and a search is arranged by the neighbours, but Chris returns safely.

Note: Presumably the boys are named after the actors playing the 9th and 10th Doctors.

Source: Mark Senior

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