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Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas
edited by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas

Christmas. A time for home. For family. For laughter…

Everybody has special memories of Christmas but for others it brings shadows of things that should not have been. Unearthly visitors who open their eyes to new worlds and new experiences. Pantomime coats, robot dogs and a big blue box parked beneath the Christmas tree.

Some think these fleeting guests are apparitions. Some think they are angels. Some think they are demons. But all know that Christmas will never be the same again.

The Doctor and his companions travel to Christmas Past, Christmas Present and those Christmases Yet to Come. They bring festive laughter and Yuletide joy, creeping dread and screaming horror, slipping in and out of time like the ghosts of Christmas…

Christmas. A time for terror. For fear. For ghosts

  • This is the twenty-second volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: December 2007
    ISBN: 978 1 84435 270 8
Faithful Friends: Part 1 by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright 3rd Doctor and the Brigadier
The brigadier is finishing and signing the last of his reports. Unusually, the UNIT base is quiet and deserted because it is Christmas Eve. Most of the staff and soldiers have left to be with their families. Sergeant Benton arrives in the Brigadier’s office to tell him that all personnel have been accounted for. There is a brief, uncharacteristically friendly, exchange between the two during which the Brigadier says he has sent a hamper to Benton’s mother’s house (where the Sergeant will be spending Christmas). On his way out through the outer office the20Brigadier picks up a bottle of single malt whiskey, his annual gift from corporal Bell. As he walks through the empty building he reflects on the conversations he has had with people at various points; he remembers that Liz Shaw is pregnant with her first child. Suddenly he hears singing. Making his way to the laboratory he finds the Doctor absorbed in an experiment. The Brigadier’s polite cough causes the Doctor to drop his experiment, ruining seven hours of work. It transpires that the Doctor did not even know it was Christmas. When he realises that the Brigadier intends to spend the festivities alone he immediately invites him to his country residence. They drive there in Bessie. Somehow, when they arrive, a large goose is already roasting in the oven. After the meal they are talking over old times, including Jo Grant’s failure to get in touch with either of them, when the clocks chime midnight. At this moment the telephone rings and the Doctor answers. The call is for the Brigadier (the Doctor having patched the emergency line to his own home). There is a report of a strange meteorite shower outside Bath and a local village has vanished. As the two leave to investigate the Brigadier insists that next year the Doctor will come to him for Christmas.

Time-Placement: Before The Time Warrior.

But Once a Year by Colin Harvey 7th Doctor and Ace
David Merrison is a sickly child. The youngest of four, his greatest love was to be out with his grandfather collecting fossils at Lyme on the Dorset coast. After his Grandfather’s death his parents returned him to an almost bed-ridden invalid state in their London townhouse. Over the following years something ghastly happens to the family. One Christmas Eve a figure climbs down the chimney and the four children of the house rush to investigate, thinking that it is St Nicholas. However, David (in his wheelchair) and two of his siblings arrive just in time to see boots and a sack going back up the chimney. In the sack is Steven, their elder brother. Despite a search of the house, its grounds and the neighbouring boroughs, Steven is never found. The following year the remaining three children lie in wait, armed with heavy objects, at the fireplace where this happened. Again a gangling black figure comes down the chimney and kidnaps Noel, the oldest of the three. Despite the children’s explanations of what happene d the suspicion falls on the family retainer, who is dismissed. The third Christmas Eve sees David and his sister Elizabeth barricaded into his bedroom, but to no avail. The black figure simply melts through the walls and steals Elizabeth. David’s parents sink into inconsolable grief and he spends the next year awaiting his inevitable fate. He spends a snowy Christmas Eve in bed until his parents have retired for the night. Instead of the scratching in the chimney that indicates the arrival of the kidnapper he hears a groaning and wheezing in the parlour. Getting into his wheelchair he makes his way to the room and discovers the TARDIS, along with the Doctor and Ace. He tells them his tale, finishing as midnight strikes. This time, when the demon climbs out of the chimney, Ace attacks it with her baseball bat. She is knocked to the floor and stuffed into the sack. The Doctor searches through David’s grandfather’s collection of fossils and finds an alien skull. He says that it is still alive and feeding off David’s imagination to give itself physical shape. The creature reappears and the Doctor smashes the skull and the creature vanishes into dust, leaving only the sack. Ace and the three missing children crawl from the sack saying that they were kept in a world of silver and forced to do the creature’s work. The Doctor surmises that they were in the alien’s vessel which was in the same location as the house, but in a different dimension. The sack was a portal to this dimension. The Doctor scoops up the sack and departs with Ace, leaving the family whole again and David on the road to better health.

Time-Placement: This seems to be the younger Ace, but otherwise arbitrary.

For the Man Who Has Everything by Dan Abnett 8th Doctor
It is Christmas Eve, 1966, and pouring with rain. In Whitehall, Anne Caisson, the private secretary of Sir Clive Reeves, the Home secretary, is sorting through the Christmas cards and gifts received by her boss. The building is largely deserted and she spends seventy five minutes ignoring the telephone while she finishes her task. Eventually she gives in and answers the telephone. The security guard tells her that a man with UNIT credentials wishes to see her so she asks that he be let in. It is the Doctor and he says he is looking for a small glass ornament. Anne tells him that she found the ornament and assumed it was a gift from her employer (with whom she has been working for sixteen years). Fearing that he was making inappropriate advances she put the gift back into her boss’s briefcase. The Doctor impresses on her the urgency of retrieving the gift; it might save the world. He tells her that it was sent by a benign alien race who wished to benefit mankind. It has the power to grant the wishes of anyone who uses it. Anne drives the Doctor through the rainy night to Sir Clive’s family home where she manages to get the ornament back safely. She drives the Doctor back to her flat where they enjoy the contents of a hamper given to Anne by Sir Clive. As the Doctor prepares to leave he tells Anne that he almost asked her to join him, in a professional capacity, but can see that Sir Clive needs her more.

One month earlier: the Doctor traces the orb to a beach on the Isle of Mull. An old crofter, Jackie McTegh, tells the Doctor that he found it, recognized it for what it was, realised he had no use for it and posted it to someone who already had everything they could wish for, the Home Secretary.

Time-Placement: Solo Eighth Doctor, after The Gallifrey Chronicles.

Tell Me You Love Me by Scott Matthewman 1st Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan
During an air raid warning in the second world war, the Doctor (accompanied by Ian, Barbara and Susan) takes refuge in a public shelter. In a street nearby Sarah Miller, a six year old girl, and her mother are using their own shelter. Sarah’s Christmas wish is that her father will return from the war and she is delighted when he crawls into the shelter with her. Meanwhile, her mother is astonished to find her husband unexpectedly standing at the back door. In the shelter, Barbara is overcome with panic and rushes outside after throwing Ian away from her. As she runs through the streets a bomb explodes and she receives a head injury. She is helped to her feet by a passer-by and is amazed to see that it is her own father. Her travels wi th the Doctor have taught her enough to know that this is an alien apparition and she explains that this cannot be her father because he is already dead. He lunges at her, demanding her to say that she loves him. Hearing that a row of houses has been destroyed and that only one is left standing, with a child inside, The Doctor leads his companions to the wreckage. The Doctor issues instructions to shore up the walls while rescuers try to dig out Sarah Miller. Sarah’s mother is beside herself with worry and angry with her husband; while their child is buried under rubble he constantly seeks assurance that she loves him. She pushes him away and he transforms into a half-man, writhing in the road. Barbara arrives carrying another of these half-men. She puts him down near the first as Ian emerges from the rubble carrying Sarah, inexplicably followed by another Leslie Miller. Seeing the two shapes in the road, ‘Mr. Miller’ rushes to them and cradles them in his arms. A life essence flows between them and the three become glowing white forms. One of them steps forward and explains that they are Bansharai, survivors of a crashed space ship. They are a race that depends on love to survive and having fed on Sarah’s love for her father one of them has been able to replenish the others. Now fully healthy, the three prepare to depart and as a parting gift they allow all those present to see visions of their own loved ones. The Bansharai vanish leaving the Doctor to look at his three companions and muse that families are formed in the strangest of ways.

Time-Placement: clues but the feeling that the four travellers are only just coming to think of each other as a family suggests fairly early, circa Marco Polo.

Notes: Barbara’s vision of her loved ones is of her mother and father in their youth. Ian’s vision appears to be of his wedding day, though whether this is to Barbara or not is unclear. The Doctor and Susan share a vision but its true nature is never specified.

The Cutty Wren by Ann Kelly 2 Doctor, Jamie and Victoria
In the Suffolk village of Middleton, Boxing Day 1906, Isiah Saul is watching a procession w here the local morris men parade a model house containing a ‘wren’ through the streets. His attention is distracted by three out-of-towners, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria, who appear to be enjoying this traditional festival. When three of the bearers of the house collapse the Doctor rushes forward to investigate and finds that they have been stripped of metabolic energy from their mitochondria. He says that whatever is in the house has done this and is not of earthly origin. Isiah steps up to him and tells him that it ought to be a dead wren in the box, but he believes it to be a meteorite. Isiah says that he dearly wishes to examine the ‘wren’ and the two of them collude to get hold of the object – made easy for them when more of the house’s bearers submit to the palsy and collapse, dropping the box and smashing it open. Isiah pockets the object that bounces into the road, The Doctor tells Jamie and Victoria to help the stricken by replacing their amino acids. When they look perplexed he points out the local pub and says a pint of beer and a pickled egg should do the trick.

Isiah tells the Doctor that he is a pioneering electrical engineer and has a workshop in the stables nearby. He proudly sho ws his equipment to the Doctor and is disappointed by the Doctor’s less than enthusiastic response. They examine the strange object which the Doctor thinks is some kind of automaton that has lost the charge in its batteries and is trying to replenish its energy. They resolve to cut it open. While they prepare to do this, Jamie and Victoria are questioning locals in the pub about the wren. They discover that the wren has been in the village for generations. Every year it paraded then chopped with an axe. Normally it then produces a wonderful pudding of the best flavour anyone has tasted. The previous year however, there was no pudding, merely a sharp electrical discharge that killed the man who chopped at it. When Victoria says that the Doctor will sort it out the morris men in the pub realise that the wren is missing and think that Isiah must have it. They prepare to get it back while Jamie and Victoria race off to warn the Doctor.

In the stables the Doctor and the engineer have come to the conclusion that the object is actually alive and has been synthesisng food for the villagers as a means of communication to try to get help. As the mob gathers outside they resolve that the best thing the y can do is to use all of Isiah’s accumulated batteries to give it one massive charge of energy. This causes the equipment to explode but the wren emerges from the stables trailing bursts of translucent colour as it rises into the sky. Far from being angry, the morris master is overcome with emotion that the wren has gone to heaven.

Time-Placement: The Doctor says that he is running in his sonic screwdriver which places this story just before Fury from the Deep.

Do You Dream in Colour? by Gary Russell Ben and Polly
Ben and Polly have met on the beach near the island of Lindisfarne where Polly’s Uncle Rupert has a house. Four years have passed since their travels with the Doctor and Ben is still in love with Polly, though this seems to be unrequited. On the beach Ben has a curious episode where Polly seems to vanish. While searching for her among t he dunes he has the sensation that all is not as it should be. Suddenly he comes to his senses and realises that Polly is next to him and that he has not moved, despite thinking he has run a few hundred yards while looking for her. He has a brief sensation that he can see himself further up the beach and calls for the Doctor. They are picked up by Uncle Rupert’s car and driven to the causeway over to the island which they cross in horse-drawn carriages. Suddenly, Polly gasps the Doctor’s name and then shakes herself awake from an apparent dream. Much to Ben’s chagrin Polly has invited her apparent boyfriend, Kristian LeRoq, to her uncle’s home to spend Christmas. They are also joined by the local priest, Father Martin, and his ward, Avril Trelawny. This young woman seems to be a rather fey creature, not at ease in company. She does have an animated discussion with Ben about the existence of aliens and other supernatural phenomena. She curtails this by approaching Polly and whispering a brief message into her ear. Later that night Ben is looking from his window when he sees a woman carrying a candle through the grounds of the house. He sets off in pursuit and in the summerhouse he meets Polly who also saw the light. They have a short conversation about their feelings for the Doctor; Ben is happy to have left the TARDIS but Polly would go back in an instant and this is why she cannot have a relationship with Ben. They become aware that Father Martin is wi th them, as is Avril who he explains is not his ward. She steps forward to tell them that she needs their help. She is really an alien called Tahn Jeraveril from the planet Bula. She was captured by slavers, then rescued by a traveller who brought her to Earth. She met Ben and Polly the previous year and used her psychic gifts to discover that they knew the Doctor, a legendary figure in her world. She had fed them the mysterious dreams earlier that day to see if she could surreptitiously discover his whereabouts. When that failed she whispered, ‘Do you dream in colour?’ to Polly. Ben realises that the thing that had been amiss in his strange beach experience was that the world had been in black and white. Realising that neither of them can help him, Tahn says she will continue to search for him; she knows that he visits Earth often. She says that when she succeeds in getting back to her home world she will tell them in a dream. She says she can give them a gift where Ben and Polly can always be in each other’s heads, no matter where they are in the world. Polly says that she would like that but Ben disagrees, saying that Polly is always in his heart.

Time-Placement: Non-Doctor sory.

The Nobility of Faith by Jonathan Clements 4th Doctor
The evil vizier of Samarkand casts Ala Urd-Din into a pit which he has his henchmen fill with rocks. Taking refuge in a cave full of treasure at the bottom of the pit, Ala reconciles himself to death. When the TARDIS materialises he assumes the Doctor to be a djinni from a lamp and demands his three wishes. The Doctor offers to help Ala rescue his lover from the marriage to the vizier and uses the TARDIS to land them on the roof of the royal palace. The Doctor uses the vizier’s magic ring to send him back to the World of Shadow from which he came before leaving the lovers to their reunion.

Time-Placement: before The Face of Evil.

Notes: This is a comical retelling of the Aladdin story, with the TARDIS replacing the magic lamp and the Doctor replacing the genie. The implication is that the Doctor has been sent on a mission to track down a renegade Time Lord and the Vizier’s ring is stolen technology. In keeping with the tradition of the pantomime of “Aladdin” there is much comic business using the old standby routines of ‘Oh yes it is… Oh no it isn’t’ and ‘It’s behind you!’

24 Crawford Street by Ian Farrington 7th Doctor and Mel
When the TARDIS lands and the Doctor steps out with Mel they are immediately separated. She finds herself outside a house in 1935. He finds himself at an archeological site in 1995. It is Christmas at both locations and neither of them can find the other or the TARDIS. Mel knocks on the door of the house to find out if the Doctor is inside. She is taken in by the family who are concerned that she is considerably under-dressed for the freezing weather. She makes friends with the family’s two children and is putting them to bed when she realises that the house is on fire. The parents and daughter of the household manage to get downstairs with Mel but the little boy, Michael, is trapped upstairs.

The Doctor talks to the archaeologist, Gregson, who explains that the dig is uncovering the remains of a house that burned down in 1935. He says that a number of unexplained fires, and other disasters, have occurred in that place since the fourteenth century. The Doctor realises that the house has been sitting on top of a temporal volcano and the TARDIS is in both 1935 and 1995 simultaneously. Gaining entrance to the ship he travels back to 1935 and rescues the family and Mel, but not the little boy. As they leave he tells the parents that their boy survives and he has met him, an acclaimed archaeologist, in 1995.

Time-Placement: Mel is in her blue and white spotted ‘pyjama’ outfit from Paradise Towers so this probably follows on from that story.

The Somerton Fetch by Peter Anghelides 3rd Doctor and Jo
The TARDIS gets caught in the wake of primitive time machine – a ‘time twister’ from the 23rd century – and Jo falls, banging her head. The Doctor leaves her to read up on the place and period in which they have landed while he sets off in pursuit of the errant joyrider. He finds himself in a country house in Shrewsbury, 1783, and a kitchen maid has just died suddenly. He chases the joyrider up and down the stairs of the house until she leaps from a window and injures her leg. He finds out that she is a young girl called Casimer who has been trying out her early Christmas present. She is wearing a special suit, meant to keep her hidden from the people of the time she visits, though the Doctor can see her clearly. He grabs hold of her to prevent her getting back to her time machine and together they start to ricochet through different time periods. Emerging in the 20th century the Doctor is nearly run down by a post-office van but the vehicle passes right through him. It soon appears that they can touch each other but not the world around them. Casimer manages to explain that the servant in 1783 simply died of fright and the Doctor guesses that Casimer’s faulty suit made the girl think she was seeing a ghost. After visiting a 19th century séance and arriving in a cottage hospital in 1973 the Doct or realises that it is Casimer’s emotions, tied to the time-twister, that are bouncing them through time. He persuades her that he is her friend and that she needs to focus on positive emotions to get them back to 1783.When she does get them back to their starting point the Doctor uses the TARDIS to drop her off in her family home and then dismantles the time-twister. It is only then that Jo points out the findings of her research; Casimer’s suit was working perfectly and nobody saw her, the only apparition seen by the residents of Sommerton House over the centuries was the Doctor, and he has become enshrined in local folk-lore as ‘The Sommerton Fetch’.

Time-Placement: Jo wears her outfit from The Curse of Peladon.

Faithful Friends: Part 2 by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright The Brigadier
The Brigadier, now retired, spends Christmas Day writing reports for the current UNIT commander on the laptop in his study. Downstairs his wife, Doris, is making the dinner for their guests nephew Henry Lethbridge-Stewart, his wife Olivia and their children Julius and a girl whose name the Brigadier cannot remember. When the Brigadier comes down to dinner he sees that the table is only set for six and insists on laying a place which remains empty for the duration of the meal. This is an act he has undertaken for the last thirty years. When the Doctor again fails to appear the Brigadier drinks a toast to his absent friend.

Time-Placement: Non-Doctor Story.

Dear Great Uncle Peter by Neil Corry 4th Doctor and Leela
A young boy, Alex, writes a thank you letter to his Great Uncle Peter, who does not exist, complaining about the gift he received which made him forget Christmas Day. After weeks of anticipation, Alex went to bed on Christmas Eve and woke up on Boxing Day with no recollection of the intervening period. Despite his family assuring him that he had a good time he insists that the day itself never happened. The Doc tor and Leela turn up at his front door, along with various other children from the same street and their parents, to ask if anyone has lost their memory. The children are all linked by having received a mobile phone from a mysterious great uncle. The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to trace the culprits, a pair of centipede-like aliens who have disguised their ship as a hill at the back of the houses. These aliens have stolen the Christmas memories from children so that they can sell them later. Leela and Alex’s dad chase the aliens and bring them back to the Doctor who destroys the space ship before restoring the children’s memories. Alex reflects that this adventure was a lot of fun, but somewhere in the restoration process he seems to have picked up somebody else’s memories of having eaten too many sprouts.

Time-Placement: Leela is in her jeans again, so after Horror of Fang Rock.

Do You Believe in the Krampus? by Xanna Eve Chown 5th Doctor and Turlough
In Salzburg a young boy, Lukas, is worried that he has not been nice enough to go onto St. Nicholas’s Christmas present list. Instead, he fears, he will be visited by the demonic Krampus. His father Max, meanwhile, is fretting over how to get to know the local barmaid, Katharina. When Lukas is safely in bed Max heads down to the bar, where he sees Katharina in conversation with two strangers, the Doctor and Turlough. They are discussing the myth of the Krampus and the forthcoming Krampuslauf festival. Max becomes jealous of the Doctor and the attention he thinks the Time Lord is receiving from Katharina. He returns home but from his window he sees the Doctor walking through the night-time streets. He decides to follow him and ends up at a nearby barn where the Doctor engages in conversation with a mysterious figure that bears an uncanny resemblance to the Krampus. This creature is, in fact, an alien who has mistaken the myth of the Krampus for reality and expects the parents of errant children to let him eat their offspring. Lukas is unable to sleep, unnerved by his thoughts of the Krampus. His feelings are not helped by the fact that his father, a talented artist, has drawn several illustrations of the demon. He thinks his father may have left the house to meet the Krampus and he, too, ends up at the barn where he is accosted by Turlough. Max is angry at his son being out at night and when the Doctor implores him to explain to the alien that the Krampus is not real Max refuses, trying to frighten his son. Lukas escapes in terror and disappears into the night. Max begins to berate the Doctor about his relationship with Katharina when the barmaid herself turns up, looking for her younger sister who has also vanished from her bed. Max says he will arrange a search party but it soon transpires that a number of the neighbourhood’s children are missing. The children are all aged between five and fifteen and have met together out of a mutual fear of being fed to the Krampus. When Lukas mentions the Krampus being in the barn they go down to kill the creature. Some of the older boys are trying to impress the others by smoking and while in the barn they accidentally drop a cigarette and set the hay stored there on fire. The creature is killed in the inferno and the Doctor and Turlough are saddened by the fact that they were protecting the children from the Krampus when really it should have been the other way round. Even Max, staring at the burning barn, begins to question what he believes in.

Time-Placement: Just before Planet of Fire.

They Fell by Scott Handcock 8th Doctor and Charley
The Doctor and Charley follow a distress signal to Earth and find themselves on a suburban street where the snow is falling. The TARDIS materialises as a power cut hits the area. Inside one of the houses six year old Zoe Elliot hears their arrival and fears that burglars are coming to steal Christmas. She rushes to her sleeping Nan, only to find that the old lady has been possessed by something else and is asking if she is ‘the One’. Running to her parents, Zoe finds they are similarly possessed. She tries to barricade herself in her room only to find Charley in there. Charley reassures her and together they escape outside where the Doctor is waiting. The three possessed humans follow them out and the Doctor engages them in conversation. They leave their host bodies and merge into a single angelic form. They explain that they are aliens, survivors of a race that was devastated by a plague that robbed them of their physical form. The only hope for their race was a child – ‘the One’ whom they seek. This child was left at a precise location in space and now they have returned to retrieve it, believing Zoe to be that child. The Doctor explains to them that a great deal of time has elapsed and the galaxy has moved on since then. He takes the angel and Zoe into the TARDIS and tracks down the true place where the One is hidden. After letting Zoe play with this alien child on a distant planet he takes her home to bed. At five o’clock on Christmas morning Zoe wonders if any of it really happened before deciding it is time to wake her parents.

Time-Placement: After Minuet in Hell.

The Christmas Presence by Simon Barnard and Paul Morris 2nd Doctor and Jamie
Chas Baxter wakes up on Christmas morning in the Lavender House Retirement Home, disappointed that he has not received his usual Christmas present. Every year since he was a small child he has been given one gift, usually inexplicably inappropriate, from a mysterious benefactor. These have included a straight-stemmed pipe when he was a baby and a woolen hat that arrived when he was serving in the navy in the war out in the Mediterranean. The most significant was a book, Sunset of the Megatheron, which led to a lifelong interest in science fiction. Now 89, the gifts have stopped. Not only is he disgruntled by this but he fears that the resident across the hall from him, Malcolm Harbottle, is an alien thief. A number of other residents have had their possessions stolen and the finger points to Harbottle, who also eats flies at the dinner table and possibly consumed the Matron’s ginger cat. Chas sneaks into Harbottle’s room and takes a suitcase back to his own room. When he opens it he finds all of the missing items and a strange globe full of stars. Harbottle confronts Chas and proclaims himself to be Malcolm the Destroyer. They tussle over the globe which gets broken. The TARDIS mat erialises in Chas’s room and out step the Doctor and Jamie. The Doctor reveals that Harbottle is from a race called the Kleptorodon and Malcolm is a criminal with a penchant for stealing galaxies. The globe that was broken had contained a compressed galaxy, Acteon, and the TARDIS. Chas promptly dies of a heart attack and the Doctor takes Harbottle prisoner. Under Jamie’s suggestion the Doctor decides to use the TARDIS to replicate the stolen items in the suitcase and then travel back through Chas’s life leaving them as his Christmas presents.

Time-Placement: Season 6B storyline.

Snowman in Manhattan by John Binns 1st Doctor, Vicki and Steven
Alan Wood is made manager of a department store in New York shortly before Christmas. He is called to the floor where a newly appointed Father Christmas is upsetting the children by being rather short tempered with them, much to Alan’s secret approval. Talking to the Santa’s manager, Steven Taylor, he finds that the pair are looking for “Snowy Boots’, the store’s number one selling seasonal toy. This toy seems to have come alive for soon afterwards Alan sees it driving a Barbie car round the toy aisles but to his consternation he realises that no one else can see it and to them the car is driving itself. When the store closes Alan finds Vicki still inside, looking for her two friends, and again sees Snowy Boots – but this time the toy has grown to a metre in height. He tells his girlfriend about this incident, and his analyst, but both seem to think he is delusional. Two days later he meets the Doctor, Steven and Vicki looking down an open manhole cover and recalls a story he heard where a Snowy Boots was lost down a manhole. The Doctor tells Alan that he can probably see Snowy Boots because of his neurosis and he joins the trio searching the sewers. There the Doctor finds a green slime which he identifies as coming from a meteorite containing bacteria. When the lost Snowy Boots fell into this bacteria it became sentient and started to grow. The Doctor warns that the final stage o f the transformation will see the creature become malevolent. At the New Year’s Parade Alan is walking with the store’s floats when he sees a giant Snowy Boots, invisible to the crowds, about to start a rampage. The Doctor and his companions arrive with a bucket of anti=bacterial agent that they intend to throw at the creature like snowballs. Alan helps them and the evil snowman is reduced in size until he vanishes. The crowd see what this odd quartet are doing, but not their target, and a spontaneous snowball fight breaks out.

When the Doctor and his friends arrive, bringing with them a special compound treated with anti-bacterial agent, Alan helps them scoop the stuff into balls and pelt the creature with it – and as Snowy Boots is finally destroyed, Alan is delighted to see a mass game of snowballs break out amongst the crowd gathered along the streets.

Time-Placement: Shortly before The Myth Makers.

The Crackers by Richard Salter 6th Doctor and Evelyn
The Cracker family is celebrating Christmas Day in 1957. They are trapped in their home by an unexploded bomb which has been discovered nearby. The Doctor appears in their home and tries to convince them to leave the house, which they refuse to do. He is joined by Evelyn who claims that this is in fact her childhood home. The Doctor persuades the Cracker’s daughter to come with him and she finds herself on a corridor of the TARDIS. At this point she starts to remember that the family car broke down and they all went into a curious police box where they promptly got lost among labyrinthine corridors. After days of fruitless meandering Alice’s father lost his temper and attacked the walls with an axe. Since that moment every day has been Christmas Day. The Doctor explains that the TARDIS has created this illusion out of Evelyn’s memories to keep them busy while it tried to repair the damage but the hole in the TARDIS is growing larger, allowing the entry of horrible creatures called Vortisaurs. They return to the Cracker household to find that Evelyn is now ‘Aunt Evelyn’ and has succumbed to the same illusion as the rest of the=2 0family. Unfortunately the Vortisaurs are now trying to smash the windows and get in. The Doctor disguises himself as Father Christmas and tricks the Crackers into following him by snatching their son and running off with him. Once they reach the console of the TARDIS their memories have returned and the Doctor can safely jettison the fantasy home and repair the damaged section of the TARDIS. The Crackers are then returned to their real home in 2007 where the Doctor and Evelyn help them celebrate a real Christmas Day.

Time-Placement: Just after Assassin in the Limelight.

Jigsaw by Michael Alberton 3rd Doctor and Jo
Four eye-witness accounts of an incident on a London Underground train, as reported to UNIT:

(1) Told by one of four drunken young men who get onto a tube train crowded with other travellers. The Doctor and Jo get on and start to point a strange device at the passengers. One of the young men, Paul, becomes unwell and the Doctor approaches him. There is a brief scuffle, the lights flash on and off followed by a bright glare and Paul vanishes. The young man’s remaining companions have no recollection of Paul.

(2) Told by a young female Japanese tourist. The four young men were being deeply unpleasant and swearing, causing discomfort to the other passengers. The Doctor and Jo spoke in Japanese, then the Doctor addressed one of the young men in an unknown language. The lights flashed and everything went back to normal but the man had gone.

(3) Told by a teenage boy. Four yobs were being loud and drunk when one of them began to sweat profusely. The Doctor spoke to him and a brief but spectacular fight broke out while the lights flashed. The younger man threw his arms back in a crucifix posture, there was a very bright light and the man vanished.

(4) Told by a young girl travelling with her parents. The four drunks were very rude and intimidating. One of them began to mutter about ‘the end of the world’ when the Doctor went to speak to him. The Doctor tried to speak calmly but a fight developed and after a bright flash of light the man was gone. Jo was relieved but the Doctor looked sad, saying that the man was too far gone. Jo asked if the Doctor wanted to stay in this time for Christmas but the Doctor said he didn’t want the Brigadier to worry.

Time-Placement: The date given places it between seasons 9 and 10, and before Verdigris.

Dr Cadabra by Trevor Baxendale 6th Doctor and Mel
A worker in a Bristol office reluctantly agrees to organize the firm’s Christmas party. To prevent having to do this again in future year’s he decides to arrange for entertainment to be provided by a children’s magician called Dr Cadabra. On the day of the party he goes down to the building’s reception area and finds the magician’s paraphernalia and a large blue police box. He sees the Doctor and Mel and mistakes them for the magician and his assistant, partly due to the Doctor’s ridiculous costume. Mel enthusiastically persuades the Doctor to do the magic act which goes down moderately well until the final trick. The Doctor picks up a mirror which he recognizes as having some sort of temporal quality but too late he notices that his willing volunteer, a pretty girl called Rachel, has begun to age rapidly. The Doctor realises that this is an artefact from the Old Time and that a temporal effigy has used it to trap the real Dr Cadabra within the image and is now draining the time energy from Rachel. The Doctor tries to pull Dr Cadabra from the mirror but the effigy’s grip is too strong and the party organizer smashes the mirror. This returns Rachel to her proper age and the observers are impressed by this spectacular piece of illusion. The Doctor and Mel return to the TARDIS where they show the organizer one more disappearing act.

Time-Placement: Mel and the Doctor have missed the New Year's Eve 1999 'again', so likely before Millennial Rites.

Far Away in a Manger by Iain McLaughlin 5th Doctor, Peri and Erimem
The Doctor has promised Peri and Erimem a snowy Christmas and therefore arrives, apparently by accident, on the colony of Alpha One. A heavy snowstorm is in progress and it is bitterly cold. They encounter a farmer, Gabe, and his heavily pregnant wife, Kate, who are making their way to the main settlement. Kate is beginning her labour and a power failure has forced them into town. Like the rest of the colonists they head for the power generating station, the only large, sheltered and warm environment. The Doctor busies himself with the delivery of the baby while Peri and Erimem forage for things needed to help the delivery. They quickly learn that life in the early years of the colony has been tough for the settlers and the colonists have become isolated from one another in a bid to survive as best they can. This has allowed Walter Cantrell to dominate the council and start acquiring land from other settlers, including control over valuable water supplies. His power has grown and he is surrounded by a group of henchmen. Erimem finds this impossible t o understand and she inspires a mini-revolt in order to unify the settlers against such dominance. Cantrell’s supporters visibly abandon him as they are shamed into providing for the expectant mother and aiding their neighbours in the plant. Peri and Erimem also put up Christmas decorations and a sense of unity and new purpose overtakes the people as they await the birth of the colony’s first child. By the time the baby has been born the colonists are firmly bonded again and determined to elect a new council which will look after everybody’s interests. As the Doctor and his companions make their way back to the TARDIS the snowstorm subsides and a beautiful day replaces it. The Doctor confesses that he used a weather controlling device to create the situation and bring about this outcome. Alpha One, he explains, will one day have a vital role in the affairs of the galaxy and the outcome of an unavoidable war will depend on the nature of the people who rule the planet. By subtly changing history for this small band he has helped to make the future a better time for many others.

Time-Placement: After the The Mind’'s Eye, in release order.

All Snug in Their Beds by Scott Allan Woodard 4th Doctor, Romana II and K9
A distress signal takes the TARDIS to the space ship Karsudan which is adrift in an ice cloud caused by the collision of two comets. K-9 reactivates the environmental controls while Romana checks the cryogenic chambers. The Doctor finds out from the onboard computers that this vessel is full of colonists on their way to Earth 2.7 but they have been drastically knocked off course and are 300 years overdue. Roman sees that the collision has destroyed the forward part of the ship but many of the cryogenic beds are intact. Two, however, are empty and there is a suspiciously well fed cog (a cat-dog hybrid) on the prowl. Pursued by the cog she flees back to the main control area and the Doctor. He has just met two young children, Alpharetta and Bertram, who have recently awoken after their cryogenic beds were broken open. Romana and the cog race into the area and K-9 is just about to shoot the beast when Romana points out that the cog is chasing a mouse, not her. It seems that Bertram’s pet mice escaped and have been breeding throughout the journey. They have chewed through many of the ship’s systems, resulting in the ship being overdue. The cog, with an art ificially elongated life-span, has spent the centuries hunting down the mice for food. The Doctor uses the ship’s ram scoops to collect the ice from outside the ship in order to provide hydrogen to restore power to the engines. They return the children to their beds after helping them to put up makeshift Christmas decorations (the Doctor has seen that they are due to arrive at the colony on December 25th). With all the systems fully operational the Doctor prepares to leave, but not before returning to the cryogenic beds and leaving Christmas presents at the foot of each.

Time-Placement:Early Season 17. Romana's regeneration is referenced.

Decorative Purpose by Eddie Robson 8th Doctor and Lucie
Hijackers have taken over the space liner Excelsior in order to kidnap the Draconi an ambassador. Their plan seems to involve crashing the ship into a moon. One of the stewards, Sabine, is fleeing towards the escape pods but meets the Doctor who is trying to gain access to the ship’s systems and restore control. The Doctor tells Sabine that the ambassador has already left the ship and encourages the steward to take flight immediately. After five days in stasis Sabine wakes up on a recently terraformed planet. Walking through a huge forest the Steward is overtaken by a heavy snowstorm and passes out, only to wake up in Lucie’s tent. Lucie explains that she too was pushed into an escape pod by the Doctor. On emerging from the tent the pair of them notice that the trees of the forest have been bio-engineered to produce chocolate coins as their fruit, as well as Christmas crackers. The coins have a picture of Lucie on the foil wrappers and the crackers contain a message from the Doctor that tell Lucie he is being held captive by the hijackers nearby. It turns out that there are bio-engineered fairies on top of the trees, each with the gift of exploding into flames (without suffering any damage). Lucie and Sabine use the fairies and some tranquilisers from the escape pods’ medical kits to overpower the hijackers. The Doctor explains that he used the planet’s environmental controls to improve the trees for his own ends. When the fairies start to die due to the overuse of their energy in the flame attacks he also creat es a smart drug that makes them immortal. Sabine reports that these fairies have been a significant tourist attraction on the planet since that day.

Time-Placement: Before Dead London.

The Stars Our Contamination by Steven Savile 6th Doctor and Peri
The majority of New York’'s population have been turned into flesh-eating zombies while a torrential rainstorm has flooded the streets and made movement for those unaffected almost impossible. Those who can, make for the tops of the skyscrapers while the ‘Infected’ seek to gain entry. One group of survivors break free of their building and try to make it out of the city and back to their loved ones, hoping that the infection has not reached the outskirts. On their way they meet Peri who is trying to find the Doctor. She travels with them, but as their numbers diminish and the days pass they begin to lose hope. Even t he sound of the Doctor’s voice over tannoys across the city is no help; he warns the uninfected that the zombies are just sick people and he is looking for a cure. Eventually Peri and her new friends are surrounded by zombies but are rescued at the last minute by the Doctor in his TARDIS. He has turned his ship into a mobile sick bay while he searches for a cure to the disease. He says it was caused by the ‘Christmas Star’, a comet which passes the Earth every two thousand years. When parts of the comet came into the atmosphere of the Earth it created the rainfall which contained the zombie disease. The Doctor soon produces a cure which he drops all over the city in the form of a white powder before leaving with Peri.

Time-Placement: Arbitrary. Between Cryptobiosis and Timelash.

Keeping it Real by Joseph Lidster 5th Doctor and Tegan
On their way back to Frontios, the Doctor and Tegan answer a distress call on a planet called Salient Point. They are soon overtaken by a snowstorm made of paper and when they reach a village they find the buildings to be a hotchpotch of different styles from different periods of Earth history. The locals, too, indulge in a perfectly choreographed son-and-dance routine during which it becomes obvious that only one of them is actually real. He is a man called Vivash O’Connell and he thinks that the newcomers are his Christmas presents. He is also starving to death. He tells them that he is the lone survivor of a crashed colony ship. To overcome his loneliness he reprogrammed the ship’s replicators to transform an otherwise barren and dusty planet into his fantasized vision of Christmas. Unfortunately the systems were too busy maintaining this fantasy to make any real food, hence his extreme hunger. The Doctor and Tegan take him back to the TARDIS and give him Christmas dinner before setting off for Frontios again, only to receive another distress call.

Time-Placement: During the final episode of Frontios, immediately after Life after Queth
Christmas Everyday by Mark Magrs 7th Doctor
The United Kingdom has been turned into a huge shopping centre in order to provide employment for the population. In addition it has been declared that Christmas will be a weekly event and the shop assistants are forced to work twenty hours a day. Inside this vast Centre one of the assistants meets an unusual man, the Doctor, who claims to be looking for a present for his friend but who, detectors point out, has no money. Unsure whether he is a ‘mystery shopper’ sent to test her, she calls security and he is taken to the store manager, Mr Sachrin. From Sachrin’s window it is possible to see the vast power stations far to the north from where the Centre receives its energy. As the Doctor berates Sachrin and his ilk for enslaving the country in a consumer culture with no alternatives there is an explosion in the power station and the shops are cast into darkness. The Doctor declares that he and his freedom fighter friends, who hide out beneath Durham Cathedral, are responsible for the sabotage. As the Centre is forced to close the Doctor encourages the shop assistant to visit the daughter she hasn’t seen for five ye ars. He says that the girl ‘loved’ this Christmas before correcting himself and repeating the verb in the future tense.

Time-Placement: Season 25. Teenage Ace is absent; she likes Charlton Athletics (Silver Nemesis).

Faithful Friends: Part 3 by Cavan Scott and Mark Wright 8th Doctor, Charley and the Brigadier
8th Doctor, Charley and The Brigadier (actually General Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, retired) wakes from an afternoon nap and prepares to face the rest of Christmas Day on his own. A noise in the kitchen tells him that he has visitors and he discovers that the Doctor and Charley are in his house cooking Christmas dinner. The Doctor explains that he has been too busy or forgetful over his regenerations to take the Brigadier up on his invitation before now. They set the table for a number of guests who arrive soon after: John Benton, Osgood, Liz Shaw, Mike Yates (driving Bessie) and Emily Chaudhry. During their conversation it=2 0is mentioned that Corporal Bell is dead and that Sarah Jane Smith is overseas on an assignment. Finally, Jo Grant arrives in time for the carving of the turkey and the Doctor proposes a toast to ‘faithful friends’.

Time-Placement: near, or just after, They Fell.

Source: Mark Senior

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