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Short Trips: Christmas Around the World
edited by Xanna Eve Chown
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Cover Blurb
Short Trips: Christmas Around the World

An anthology of brand new Doctor Who short stories for Christmas.

Christmas is a time for festivities, family and fun. Itís also a time for action, adventures... and aliens. Spend Christmas with the Doctor as he joins the celebrations around the globe, from the pagan past to the distant future, taking in the frozen waters of the Arctic, the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and even a trip to the planet Gloricious. Christmas is an interesting time of year when the Doctorís about. In fact, itís out of this world.


Notes:
  • This is the twenty-seventh volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: December 2008
    ISBN: 978 1 84435 342 2
 
 
Stories
Planet of the Elves by John Binns 4th Doctor and Adric
The departure of Romana and K-9 has saddened the Doctor, prompting him to clean up the TARDIS. He discovers a promotional disc for the 'Christmas Corporation'. Recognising that Santa's toymakers are enslaved aliens he goes to the corporation's workshop at Earth's North Pole. There, the Doctor and Adric find out that the aliens are Silostopans, and they are working for an Andromedan pretending to be Santa Claus. The Doctor and Adric are also drugged and captured but soon escape. They realise that the factory is actually on Silostophus and it is connected to Earth using space warp technology. They free the slaves, destroy the warp tunnel and use a chronological damper to allow the Earth-bound salesman to deliver all the presents that he has promised in time for Christmas Day.

Time-Placement: after 'Warrior's Gate'

Exclave by Joff Brown 6th Doctor and Peri
In Kowloon, Christmas 1974, the Doctor and Peri rescue a monk, Cheung, who is being beaten by Triad thugs. He accompanies them into the city, to the Platinum Dragon but they are attacked again by the Triad. The monk's brother, Bak sees the dragon and decides to use it for his own ends. He fights the monk but is absorbed by the monster, creating a creature capable of destroying the world. The monk battles the creature, wins and frees his brother. The Doctor reveals that he trapped the Platinum Dragon thousands of years ago and every one hundred and eight years he has to come back to stop it waking. This has now got more difficult since a city was built over the dragon's site. He replaces the dragon in its prison and leaves the monk to find the solution to his troublesome brother.

Time-Placement: before The Mark of the Rani

A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Lisa Miles 3rd Doctor and Sarah Jane
The Doctor and Sarah are at the Brigadier's U.N.I.T. Christmas party but are finding it less than stimulating entertainment. Instead they sneak off to the TARDIS and arrive in the garden of a New York mansion in1822. They meet a tiny Saint Nicholas and his reindeer. As they say hello they do not realise that they are being watched from a window by Clement C. Moore who settles down to write ''Twas the Night Before Christmas'

Time-Placement: after The Monster of Peladon

Instead of You by Laurence Donaghy 7th Doctor and Ace
The TARDIS is hit by Kryian missiles as the Doctor and Ace make their escape. They discover that the TARDIS keeps returning to Christmas Eve at different periods of Earth history. First they find themselves in London in 1889, and then a Los Angeles toy store in 2023. Next they arrive in Eastern Africa in 3181. They arrive in a closed community, locked for safety inside a sealed complex to avoid the ravages of the weather outside. It seems that the Earth was invaded by a race of Huyfbfgriniotites who adapted the climate to suit themselves, drained the planet's resources and then left. There are 53 people in the complex, living a meager existence. When Ace realises that the concept of Christmas has been forgotten she explains it to one of the children, Virginia. Unfortunately for Ace the humans have genetically enhanced their telepathic abilities and everyone in the community starts to believe that Father Christmas is literally true and will be coming to save them. In the morning Ace finds that the community has improvised its own Christmas decorations including a giant five pointed star on top of the roof. The Doctor is repairing the fault in the TARDIS when Ace arrives, distraught at the false expectations she has raised in the survivors. She grabs an exposed circuit and knocks herself out. When she wakes up she cannot believe the scenes in front of her. The Doctor has wrapped up presents for everyone and the whole compound is full of excitement and joy. Ace is still distressed to think of these people left to their miserable existence but a rescue party arrives. They have been attracted by the five pointed star. The Doctor tells Ace that this part of the world is still in climatic turmoil but elsewhere the Earth has settled back to normal.

Time-Placement: after Battlefield

Christmas Every Day by Jason Arnopp 4th Doctor and Leela
The TARDIS lands on the Earth colony Gloricious in 2172. The Doctor and Leela find the colonists living in terror of three alien kings. The aliens are keeping the colony in perpetual Christmas. Initially the aliens saved the colony by stabilising the planet but now keep their control by threatening to withdraw their aid. In recompense the colonists are sacrificing themselves, one by one to the hungry aliens.

The Doctor confronts the three kings in their lair within a giant Christmas Tree. He is knocked unconscious and dressed in a Santa outfit. Realising that the baubles on the tree are limitless power cells that will keep the colony from sinking beneath the ice forever he tells the colonists that the kings are blackmailers who have no particular power. The colonists rise up and overthrow the kings but to the Doctor's dismay they also murder their former oppressors.

Time-Placement: after 'Image of the Fendahl'

Mirth, or Walking Spirits by Gareth Wigmore 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
A Scottish expedition to Antarctica has been hit by terrifying supernatural events. Already rocked by the death of Ramsay the previous August, the six men who have been left on Laurie Island over the Christmas of 1903 have begun to disappear one by one until only William Cuthbertson is left. The first three to vanish went unseen, but the next two were taken when the ghosts of the other three and Ramsay appeared in their house to take them. Cuthbertson has seen his last two companions fade away and reappear as wraiths before the company of ghosts disappeared together. Terrified that Christmas Day will be his last, he decides to get as far away from the house as possible and sets out on his skis. He comes across the TARDIS and, beside it, The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe enjoying a snowball fight. They accompany him back to the house where he tells them his strange tale. The Doctor thinks that the clue is Ramsay's death and that the unquiet spirit of the dead man is lonely - he is the first man to die in the Antarctic. He takes Cuthbertson out to the TARDIS and shows him proof that the expedition will be a success and that the members all returned safely, providing valuable research (albeit largely unrecognised for a thousand years). When Jamie begins to play a set of bagpipes, the Doctor has an idea and the four of them begin to play and sing Christmas Carols. As their spirits rise the missing men reappear and join in. Last to appear is the ghost of Ramsay which sits for a while before heading out into the snow.

Time-Placement: before The Seeds of Death

Do You Smell Carrots? by Simon Guerrier 5th Doctor; 1st Doctor and Steven
The Doctor and Steven use a helicopter to fight an aerial battle against a giant alien mosquito. Eventually they use washing up liquid to destroy it. The mosquito disintegrates in mid air and falls as a sticky mess into a garden far below. Two boys are in the garden making snowmen with their mother. The alien slime lands in the snow and reacts with one of the boy's DNA. That night, the two snowmen come to life and begin to walk out of the garden and towards the centre of town. As their sentience increases the larger of the snowmen becomes more and more concerned for the welfare of his smaller 'sibling'. After a fun night of exploring the sun rises and the snowmen begin to melt. They are found by another incarnation of the Doctor who has noticed their anomalous radiation signs and takes them to the North Pole.

Time-Placement: First Doctor section before White on White. Fifth Doctor: ???

The Doctor's Cross Word by JJ Secker 4th Doctor
The fourth wise man, Nayigeren, is a chronologer intent on witnessing the baby Jesus. Unfortunately he has not taken the inaccuracies of the calendar into account and arrives four years too late. He meets the Doctor who explains his error. After the wise man has left the Doctor notices stars vanishing in the sky. He takes the TARDIS to investigate and finds himself trapped inside a space vacuole with a malevolent alien intelligence. The alien has delusions of godhood and a penchant for crosswords. As the Doctor solves a series of clues he finds the answers spelling out in front of him like a path. Each answer he gives reveals more of the Doctor's mind to the alien who is laying a fiendish and murderous trap. Just as the Doctor's death seems inevitable the alien gives him the chance of a last word. The Doctor remembers another vacuole-inhabiting race from his past adventures, the Scorliocz, and their use of a single word (M*******) to self-destruct. He utters this word, killing the entity and imploding the vacuole just as he gets back to the TARDIS and dematerializes.

Time-Placement: before The Face of Evil

Dateline to Deadline by Ian Farrington 3rd Doctor
Ben Anders is a travel writer, chronicling his journey around the world. He is sailing on The Neptune to Tokyo and is pleased to learn he will skip Christmas Day as the ship crosses the international dateline. Unfortunately a crewman is killed and the engines sabotaged as they near the dateline. The Doctor arrives on the ship and is assumed to be an investigator, sent by the company to solve the murder. The Doctor fixes the engines then tells Ben that he has been sent to stop some aliens who deliberately slowed the ship in order to rendezvous with a spaceship. The captain and another sailor reveal themselves as the aliens but their attempts to slow the ship again are foiled; Doctor 's repairs have locked the Neptune's engines. The Doctor overpowers the aliens and leaves them locked up for the relevant authorities to deal with. After he has gone Ben comes up with the idea for a book about alien sightings.

Time-Placement: before The Time Warrior

Autaia Pipipi Pia by Beverley Allen 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane
It is New Zealand, 1980, and the Doctor wants to make a Christmas cake. He sends Sarah to the supermarket to get some of the ingredients. While she is there she notices that there is some panic buying of turkeys. As a new delivery arrives she is involved in a stampede, during which she hears that turkeys have been in very short supply. Suddenly, the roof of the supermarket is opened and all of the turkeys are swept up, along with the shoppers. They are dropped into the hold of an alien space ship. The ship is Hazoodian and the turkeys are being used to make a special ale. Unfortunately, one of the shoppers falls into the brewing process, apparently improving the recipe greatly. The Doctor tracks down the spaceship and points out to the captain that the 'apes' in the hold are sentient beings. The captain, somewhat reluctantly, agrees to return the shoppers - and the turkeys - to Earth.

Time-Placement: before The Hand of Fear

No Room by Rebecca Levene 7th Doctor and Chris
It is Christmas Day, 1814, and the Doctor has stranded himself with Chris on a small island in the Indian Ocean. They are rescued by the crew of a passing British Navy vessel. On board the ship they see that ten of the crew are green lizard-men. These aliens have been rescued themselves, but the sailors merely assume that they are some exotic earth life not previously encountered. The Doctor persuades the ship's captain that he has lost some treasure in a blue box at the bottom of the ocean and the alien Melanesians are sent down to retrieve it. The Doctor gives the leader of the lizard people the TARDIS key, planning for them to pick up Chris and himself before going home. However, the aliens simply bring the TARDIS onto the deck of the ship before one of them goes into labour and gives birth to a daughter. As the aliens conceive by parthenogenesis this is a virgin birth on Christmas Day.

Time-Placement: : late in the Seventh Doctor's adventures

Interesting Times by Eddie Robson 3rd Doctor and Sarah Jane
The Doctor and Sarah land, by accident, in Saigon during the 1969 Christmas ceasefire. Sarah sets off to the Continental Palace Hotel, looking for the war journalists that inspired her to be a reporter. There is something going on in the hotel and it is cordoned off by U.S. military. The soldiers tell her that some of the reporters have taken control of the upper levels of the hotel and are keeping everybody out at gunpoint. One of the journalists makes a run from the hotel and is caught by the soldiers but when he is taken to their jeep he appears to be distressed by the news on the radio. When the radio is switched off he calms down.

The Doctor, meanwhile, has seen a local newspaper report about a crashed American experimental plane that hit some houses. He goes to talk to the military and his confident assertion that it is a crashed space ship allows him access. He recognises it as lifeboat of some kind, built for one. Hearing of the events at the hotel he leads the soldiers there, confident of finding the missing alien.

The Doctor works out that the alien is hiding in the upper floors of the hotel and has controlled the guests to protect it. He surmises that the alien is harmed by major historical events and thus terrified of news stories. The Doctor and Sarah walk through the hotel, broadcasting radio news through a megaphone to incapacitate the possessed journalists until they find the alien cowering in wardrobe. They calm it down prior to taking it home, but one of the journalists wakes up. He sees the alien, obviously a major news event, and due to his recent psychic conditioning, he shoots it dead.

Time-Placement: after Death to the Daleks

The Christmas Party by Matthew Griffiths 6th Doctor and Evelyn
the TARDIS lands in a large cave system, somewhere in Iceland. the Doctor and Evelyn make their way through a series of tunnels, heading towards what they hope is daylight. They come across what appears to be the corpse of a man dressed in burned clothes but he revives and starts to talk about a Christmas party that is being held by 'Nick'. The man's name is Bob. The three of them carry on towards the light and find themselves inside a tunnel which has wire tinsel decorations running its length. As they make their way up the corridor they realise that the far end is closing behind them and run for their lives, escaping through a bulkhead but get separated in the process. Evelyn meets a worker, Libby, while the Doctor and Bob carry on into a huge dome inside a vast cave. It is filled with decorations and guests invited to a party. Because neither of them have an invitation to the party they are told to join the other gatecrashers working behind the scenes but the Doctor's outlandish costume and lack of burns singles him out as someone special and he is taken to meet Nick. The gatecrashers are told that they can work for eleven days and then join the party on the twelfth. Bob tells the Doctor that the surface of the planet is suffering from solar flares and/or global warming and that the party is the only cool place to be. The Doctor watches the party host, Nicholas Santana, welcoming the invitees (party members and donors of funds) and giving out presents. There is mayhem and panic when the gifts start to explode. It transpires that Libby has been putting explosives into the gift boxes. Nick tells the Doctor that the night's special event is that he will make it snow inside the cavern, by using the air-conditioning and venting the extra heat into the volcanic magma nearby. This will have the secondary effect of filling the surrounding tunnels with lava, thereby killing the workers, including Evelyn. The Doctor uses the intercom to tell Evelyn to put one of the bombs into the ventilation system to block the lava. Nick finds he is left having to mingle with the uninvited while the Doctor and Evelyn make their way back to the TARDIS.

Time-Placement: PLACEMENT

Lost and Founded by Andrew Pidoux 3rd Doctor and Jo
A tall man is alone on a tiny island in the Bermuda Triangle. Recently, he has been suffering from 'mirages', including a green alien that popped in and out of existence in front of his eyes. He is therefore not surprised when the TARDIS materialises. He laughs at the Doctor's attire but is delighted when he sees that Jo is wearing an extremely skimpy bikini.

The Doctor leaves Jo to her sunbathing and sets off to explore the island. He finds a number of strange anomalies including a tree made of seaweed and a pentagonal shape (clearly a makeshift Christmas tree and star, although he does not recognises them as such.) He also finds a large shape made from coconuts and calls Jo over. She sees it for what it is; an angel complete with halo. They decide that there must be someone on the island and mount a search but the tall man stays well hidden. He thinks that they are presents sent from God and Santa for his amusement and so does not ask them to rescue him.

As he approaches the TARDIS it vanishes, much as he expected it to.

Time-Placement: before Frontier in Space

The Best Days by David Cromarty 7th Doctor and Ace
The TARDIS lands in Rome on December 17th 47 BC. The Doctor wants to show Ace the holiday of Saturnalia when slaves are given a day to be the masters and the masters act as slaves. The citizens are giving each other effigies of the god Saturn but Ace is given a pebble by a small girl , Rhea. They visit the Temple of Saturn where there are curious energy readings. Later they intervene in a fight between a slave, Marcus and his master, Aullus. Aullus invites them to a feast in his house but when they get there Marcus reveals his plan to return Saturn to power over the other gods. Marcus's stone statues of Saturn suddenly come to life and , at the slave's command, kill Aullus. The Doctor tells Ace to return to the TARDIS but as she passes the Temple of Saturn the giant statue of the god comes to life and grows to twice its size. The Doctor has told Ace about the myth of Saturn's death and how he ate all of his children to prevent them from overthrowing him. When his wife Rhea replaced the last child, Jupiter, with a stone, Saturn regurgitated Jupiter's siblings and the gods rose up and replaced their father. Ace tries to throw the pebble that Rhea gave her into the statue's mouth but Saturn catches and crushes it. Saturn then orders Marcus to kill Rhea but the Doctor arrives and tells the slave that Rhea is really the god's wife in the form of a little girl. Saturn and Rhea are forbidden to kill each other, which is why they are using others to do their work. The Doctor flings a bottle of poison at the giant statue who shrinks and becomes inanimate again. Rhea vanishes back to wherever god-impersonating aliens go to and the Doctor and Ace return to the TARDIS while Marcus is left to be dealt with by the authorities.

Time-Placement: before The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

Conscription by William Potter 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane
The Doctor is being pursued across a ruined and burning cityscape. Eventually he arrives at the remains of a great military museum and makes his way inside. He locates a golden disc which, when slipped into a console shows a star map, highlighting the position of the Earth. AS he comes under attack again he pockets the disc and returns to the TARDIS, arriving with the ends of his scarf still smoldering.

Sarah reminds him that by her watch it is Christmas Day and tries to give him a present. The Doctor asks if she would like to spend the day on Earth. Sarah thinks that they are going to Croydon but ends up traipsing through the jungles of New Guinea in 2012 where her skimpy blouse and short skirt are not ideal. Neither are her wellingtons which are letting in water and leeches.

They eventually find a crashed spaceship. Despite its rusty and ruined appearance it is apparent from the bones on the floor that it is still being used. The ship is surrounded by local tribesmen who try to kill the Doctor but he and Sarah take refuge inside. Something large kills two of the tribesmen and bursts into the ship. It is a large reptilian warrior wearing a piece of body armour. The Doctor tries to convince it to power down, saying that the mission is over. The warrior refuses to believe him, even when the Doctor shows him the disc and explains where he got it and that a civil war has ended any invasion plans. When the warrior attacks them the Doctor uses the disc which deactivates the armour. The warrior transforms back to a crocodile and flees the ship. The Doctor tells Sarah that the armour is the occupant of the ship. The Nervoid's chosen invasion method is to send pods carrying armour to the target planet. The armour locates the dominant life form (in this case the crocodile) and converts it into a warrior.

On the way back to the TARDIS they make a perilous crossing of a waterfall and the Doctor drops the armour into the river where it is worn by a crayfish until its solar power cells run out. In the TARDIS the Doctor puts the golden disc on top of a Christmas tree.

Time-Placement: before The Ark in Space

Christmas in Toronto by Andrew Cartmel 7th Doctor
Jasmine Deering is attending the Christmas party at her company's (Brockley and Campbell) office. Her most recent job has been illustrating a campaign for Blackstone soft drinks; the drawings have featured Santa, some reindeer, and an elf named Jolnir. With her at the party are her husband, Shep, and son, Caspar. Jasmine is introduced to Tobias and Kristianna, the brother and sister in charge of Blackstone. She finds them disconcerting, especially when they talk about the turkeys that will be slaughtered over Christmas and calling it the "many deaths for Jolnir". The Blackstone siblings leave to host a party on the ice of Lake Ontario (only the third time the lake has frozen since records began). They are taking a huge, black stone with them that reminds Jasmine of a hammer from Norse mythology.

Later at the party Jasmine encounters the Doctor. He tells her that the character Jolnir that she has been drawing is a stranded alien that the Blackstones plan to bring to power. To do this they need to focus the psychic energy created when people see the cartoon of Jolnir on television, along with the fear of turkeys facing slaughter. These psychic messages will be focused through the black stone, a remnant of Jolnir's spaceship.

Jasmine dismisses the Doctor as a crank and leaves the party with her husband and son. There is a blizzard raging outside, however, and the pedestrians on the street have begun to behave like wild animals. Jasmine, Shep and Caspar find their lives in danger until the Doctor rescues them. This is enough to convince Jasmine of the veracity of the Doctor's claims. They go back to the safety of the office and Jasmine creates a crude but effective advert that makes the elf Jolnir a figure of fun. They convince the television company in the same building to run the advert and at a stroke the psychic power feeding into Jolnir is cut off. The weather improves and the ice on the lake melts, sinking the hammer and drowning the Blackstones. On Christmas morning the news is full of stories of children waking up to find Jolnir dolls in their stockings and ripping them to pieces.

Time-Placement: late in the Seventh Doctor's adventures

Companion by James Moran 7th Doctor
This is the story of Yarah de Silva an eleven year old from Avelar, Brazil. She is allergic to animals but desperately wants a pet so her father (a scientist working for Positron Incorporated) makes her robot puppy. He gives it to her for Christmas. The year is 2672. Yarah takes her pet into the garden where she scratches herself on a rosebush. The puppy digs up all the plants in the garden, and so gets the name Digger. Later, Digger breaks into Positron Incorporated which makes military weapons. The little girl and her father try to stop it, but it tries to activate a giant robot. The Doctor arrives and tells Sarah's father that Digger is worried about the effects of the war on Sarah's safety and is trying to protect her. Unless it is stopped the puppy will destroy the world until all threats are removed. The Doctor disables Digger (and all of the robots in the factory). Yarah is saddened by Digger's end but the Doctor gives her a new present; an alien shape-shifter that reads her mind and transforms into Patch the puppy Yarah has always dreamed of owning.

Time-Placement: early in the Doctor's solo adventures

Illumination by David Bailey 8th Doctor and Izzy
In Sweden, in 1070, the Doctor and Izzy are captured by a band of pagan hunters. They are tied to a dog sled and taken to the hunters' village where they are tied up and put in a pen. There is another man there with them, a man that the Doctor recognises as Adam of Bremen, a priest and historian who will one day write an erroneous tract accusing the locals who worship the Norse gods of sacrificing humans, including children. This is all propaganda, the Doctor tells Izzy, intended to replace the gods with Christianity.

Adam defends himself and shows the Doctor the hunters' temple where the men come out covered in blood. The Doctor is perplexed and one night he unfastens his and Izzy's ropes. They leave the pen and discover that the area is home to a luminous fungus, Noxmycota, which arrived on Earth on a meteorite. The Doctor explains that the fungus can increase aggression and reduce inhibitions which would explain the uncharacteristic behaviour of the hunters (and their reindeer). Realising that the Noxmycota usually grows on planets where there is little or no light the Doctor knows that the impending Midwinter's Night will create the perfect conditions for it to spore and spread throughout the entire world.

He uses Izzy's lighter and Adam's 'bread-water (a rough but powerful alcohol akin to vodka) to make a large huge bonfire. As the fire grows it kills the fungus. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS to fetch some fungicide and some drugs to return the hunters to normal. Later he tries to argue Adam out of writing his denunciation of the local religion but to no avail.

Time-Placement: somewhere in the middle of the comic strips, near Wormwood

White on White by Kate Orman 1st Doctor and Steven
Sari Martinez is making a solo trek across Antarctica, sometimes pulling her sled of provisions, sometimes riding on it behind her power kite. It is the Christmas of 2008. Somehow she manages to crash into the only object in the snow: the TARDIS. She recovers enough to make camp and then carries on her journey the next day. She is puzzled not to be able to use her cell phone or GPS but blames solar activity. Later she thinks she sees an aerial dogfight between two aeroplanes and later comes across a vivid pink pile of wreckage that resembles a plane with limbs. Worse happens when night falls suddenly, even though she can still see the sun, but then daylight returns.

Sari tries to radio Snowcap base to tell them that she is less than a day away but finds herself talking to the Doctor. He tells her an unbelievable story about an alien invasion attempt. He says that Snowcap base was evacuated when the Gelidons attacked but he has destroyed their devices for removing the ozone layer in the southern hemisphere. He explains that the dogfight she saw was Steven in a stolen Gelidon craft causing a distraction. Sari struggles to come to terms with this but the description of the Gelidon as giant lobster-like aliens fits what she saw in the snow. When the Doctor says he is in a snowcat that has run out of fuel and is a sitting target for the vengeful aliens Sari asks for his position and tries to find him.

She finds herself racing two Gelidon to reach the Doctor and arrives at the Snowcat just before them. Throwing up her power kite as the Doctor climbs onto her sled they escape with seconds to spare. They return to the TARDIS where the Doctor calls for help (the TARDIS has been damaged while thwarting the invasion). Sari is left looking at the interior of the TARDIS marveling at the Doctor and his amazing ship.

Time-Placement: just before the Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve

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