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Short Trips: Past Tense
edited by Ian Farrington

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: Past Tense

Throughout all his travels, the Doctor has had many adventures, both on Earth and in the past. His affection for this particular planet is clear -- as is his enjoyment of seeing history happen.

Past Tense features stories set exclusively in Earth’s past: from the heady atmosphere of Shakespearian London to the shadowy world of pre-war Istanbul; from the time of King Alfred to the turn of the Millennium.

Established writers of Doctor Who for television, print and audio are joined in this collection by fresh talent and new voices.

his-tory n. : 1: a continuous, usu. chronological, record of important or public events. 2: the study of past events, esp. human affairs. 3: an eventful past.

‘History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand...’ - Doctor Who: The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve by John Lucarotti and Donald Tosh

Doctor Who began in 1963 with a remit to teach its audience about the past. One of the regular characters was a history teacher -- and the intention was that the series would regularly explore bygone centuries, meet historical figures and interact with our ancestors.

Soon, the TARDIS was making visits to the Roman era, the time of the French Revolution and the pre-Cortez Aztec culture; the Doctor and his companions met cavemen, Marco Polo, Richard the Lionheart and Wyatt Earp.

But just as the Doctor is an alien visitor, so other interlopers from other worlds have found themselves in Earth’s past -- some with the intention of changing history.

Past Tense features seventeen tales set on Earth in days gone by. The Doctor finds himself and his fellow travellers in a variety of times and places: involved in international espionage with British and German spies, at the annexation of the Transvaal, watching an Ashes cricket match and mixing with the late-Sixteenth Century theatrical set.

Seeing history happen, learning about its nuances, trying to prevent its corruption, or simply enjoying its atmosphere, our heroes find themselves in exciting adventures wherever -- or whenever -- they go.

  • This is the sixth volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series.
  • Released: March 2004
    ISBN: 1 844 35046 0

The Immortals by Simon Guerrier 5th Doctor, Adric, Nyssa, Tegan

The TARDIS materialises in Eastern Europe in the early 11th century, where they learn that a mysterious raiding party has been attacking villages and slaughtering the inhabitants. The Doctor offers his help to the frightened inhabitants of a local town, who claim that the raiders have strange, twisted faces and the ability to pull arrows out of their bodies without suffering harm. The Doctor and Adric try to contact the raiders peacefully, and learn that they are in fact Mongols led by a tribal chieftain named Czar U’thai; they originally came from Asia to trade, but found the villages relatively defenceless and decided simply to take what they wanted by force. The villagers believe them to be demons, as they are unfamiliar with the raiders’ facial characteristics and with the silk shirts they are wearing to protect their skin against the villagers’ barbed arrows. The Doctor and Adric return to the village, where the Doctor and Nyssa try to help the headman, Udlif, to prepare defences for the raiders’ coming attack; however, Tegan and Adric don’t believe that this will be enough and make their own plans with the village carpenter, Mang. When the Mongols reach the village and attack, they run into a series of traps set up by the Doctor and Udlif including flaming trenches and explosives; unfortunately, they are not frightened off. However, with Adric’s help, Mang has constructed a new type of bow capable of firing arrows with more force over longer distances, and the villagers use these weapons to defeat their attackers. In the course of the fighting, Udlif is killed and the village is razed to the ground, but Mang and the survivors depart, heading for Wales on Tegan’s advice to set up a new community there. As the Doctor and his companions return to the TARDIS, the Doctor chastises Adric for introducing humanity to the longbow, a weapon that will go on to cause many deaths in human warfare.

Time-Placement: This occurs soon after the Doctor’s regeneration, and while Tegan is still upset about his failure to return her to Heathrow.

Continuity: Readers interested in this period of history might also wish to check out Bunker Soldiers.

Far From Home by Alison Lawson 8th Doctor

Young Ralph and Tommy, two children from the Welsh village of Crickhowell in the year 1928, are heading to school in Aber when they spot the clogmaker, Mr Wesley, chasing a stranger away from the mill. The intrigued children follow the stranger, who calls himself the Doctor, to the local bog, where he has detected a distress call from an alien escape pod. The Doctor rescues its injured occupant, a Velderon, from the sinking pod, and leaves Ralph to watch over it while he and Tommy search for the second crew member. Unfortunately, it begins to rain, and the second alien, confused and frightened, backs away from the Doctor and Tommy and falls into a well. The Velderons’ skin is an active acidic compound, and the Doctor barely gets Tommy out of the way before the Velderon dissolves into a cloud of acidic gas. Meanwhile, Ralph has wrapped up the first Velderon in his coat, protecting it from both the rain and from the local poacher, George Evans-the-Cwm. The Doctor and the boys then take the surviving Velderon back to the mill, where the Doctor creates a distraction while the boys slip past Mr Wesley. The Doctor joins them in the mill, takes the grateful Velderon into the TARDIS and departs, leaving the excited boys to rush home and tell Tommy’s mother, Clara, about their exciting adventure.

Time-Placement: arbitrary. The Doctor appears to be travelling alone, but there is no reference to any other adventures, or to amnesia, his second heart, or lack thereof.

All Done with Mirrors by Christopher Bav 4th Doctor, Sarah

The Doctor decides to visit the theatre, but the TARDIS materialises on stage at the Rose in the middle of a play. The Doctor quick-hops a few streets away, embarrassed, and he and Sarah then attempt to enter the theatre by more traditional means. However, they spot three figures slipping surreptitiously into the theatre’s back entrance, and the curious Doctor follows them and overhears them plotting to kill Christopher Marlowe. The Doctor and Sarah steal clothing from the theatre in order to blend in with the crowds, and then head for a local pub; there, they meet actor Ned Alleyn, who initially mistakes the Doctor for Marlowe because of his clothing. The Doctor and Alleyn share a drink and discuss Marlowe, whose outspoken atheism and work for the secret service have made many enemies in high places. Disturbed, the Doctor leaves the pub, tracks down Marlowe, and manages to convince him of the danger he’s in. Marlowe agrees to absent himself from the pub where he is destined to be assassinated, and the Doctor takes his place and is knifed by the killer, Nicholas Skeres. Fortunately, the knife is deflected by a volume of the Collected Works of Shakespeare that the Doctor is carrying in his breast pocket; however, the Doctor plays dead and allows the conspirators to dump his “corpse” in the Thames. He then swims back to the banks and is reunited with Sarah and Marlowe. Marlowe will now go underground, but will continue to write plays under the name of William Shakespeare. The Doctor gives him the Collected Works in case he ever gets stuck.

Time-Placement: arbitrary. We theorise that the Doctor was inspired to visit a Shakespearean-era theatre by his experiences in Managra.

Continuity: this appears to contradict the other appearances by Shakespeare and Marlowe in Managra and The Empire of Glass. For now, we can only speculate as to how this story may fit together with the depiction of Shakespeare as a separate man and old friend of Marlowe’s.

CHAOS by Eric Saward 6th Doctor, Peri

The Doctor finds himself trapped in web of pure CHAOS, and awakens aboard the TARDIS with Tegan. The ship is caught in a time corridor, and despite the Doctor’s best efforts, the ensuing time spillage destroys his ship. CHAOS envelops the Doctor’s mind once more, and instead of the TARDIS exploding, it materialises on the planet Raaga, where the Terileptil slaves and prisoners mine the rare mineral tinclavic. The slaves have created a time tunnel with which to escape from the hellish planet, and the Doctor helps them to complete their work; however, they are betrayed and chased into the tunnel by a Terileptil death squad. Separated from Tegan, the Doctor is swept down the corridor to a deserted warehouse in 20th-century Earth, where he watches from hiding as the death squad guns down the other escaping fugitives. The Doctor picks up a rusty spike with which to defend himself -- and when an old man unexpectedly steps out of the shadows and confront him, the panic-stricken Doctor stabs him with the spike, killing him. Only then does he realise that he’s just killed an innocent old tramp. The shock snaps him out of his terrible dream state, and he finds himself lying unconscious on a New York City sidewalk; he had taken Peri home for a visit, but was knocked out while trying to protect her from a mugger. The Doctor takes Peri back to the TARDIS and departs, unaware that the “dreams” were in fact generated by a microscopic CHAOS droid that remains embedded inside his brain...

Time-Placement: arbitrary. Peri claims to be homesick for 1980s America, which suggests she hasn’t been there for a while.

Continuity: the Terileptils and the tinclavic mines of Raaga were introduced in The Visitation and further expanded upon in The Awakening. Refugees from a time tunnel were also gunned down outside an abandoned warehouse, along with an innocent bystander, in author Eric Saward’s Resurrection of the Daleks. It’s not entirely clear which incarnation of the Doctor is travelling with Tegan in his CHAOS dreams; if the Sixth, then In a Fix With Sontarans and Fixing a Hole might be part of his CHAOS dreams.

Ante Bellum by Stephen Hatcher 7th Doctor, Ace

The TARDIS materialises in Constantinople in June 1914, on the eve of the First World War. A French archaeological team on the island of Ilyas Ada has just unearthed an interstellar drive from a Krivani spaceship that crashed on Earth millennia ago, and the device falls into the hands of British agents Underwood and Fenton when the archaeologists are incinerated by an energy release from the malfunctioning drive. The Doctor tracks down the dangerous artefact and steals it, but Ace is captured by Underwood and Fenton, who conclude that she and the Doctor are German spies. The Doctor is arrested by the Turkish police and questioned by a German agent, Gerold Rösler, but the drive gives off another energy pulse and only the Doctor’s intervention saves Rösler and Colonel Çelebi from the same fate as the archaeologists. Shaken, Rösler agrees to help the Doctor dispose of the artefact before it falls into the wrong hands. Underwood and Fenton then contact the Doctor, offering to exchange Ace for the artefact, but while the Doctor meets with them, Rösler breaks into the embassy and frees Ace. Underwood and Fenton nearly get away with the drive, but Rösler inadvertently hits it while shooting at them, triggering another energy release that vaporises the two British agents. Rösler and Çelebi escort the Doctor and Ace back to the TARDIS, and the Doctor disposes of the unstable drive in the Vortex moments before it finally explodes. The Earth is safe, but Ace finds it odd to have fought against the British with the help of a German spy.

Time-Placement: The Doctor does not seem to be in control of events, and the relationship between him and Ace is more trusting, probably placing this somewhere within season 25.

The Thief of Sherwood by Jonathan Morris 1st Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Susan

Excerpts from DWM, the Radio Times, the Target novelisation, The Television Companion, and other reference guides are used to outline the story of a six-part serial written by Godfrey Porter and broadcast between September and October 1964. The TARDIS materialises in the dungeons of the Sheriff of Nottingham, where Ian and Susan meet Maid Marion (played by Anneke Wills). The Doctor and Barbara find a secret passage between the castle and a peddler’s shop in the local village, but end up being captured by Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They prove to be amoral bandits who rob from the poor as well as the rich -- and Robin Hood is the spitting image of Ian Chesterton. Meanwhile, Ian and Susan are captured by the Sheriff, who mistakes Ian for Robin Hood and prepares to execute him. The Doctor tries to rescue Ian by posing as an alchemist with the ability to turn lead into gold, but he nearly blows himself up while mixing chemicals for a demonstration, and is thus absent for two episodes while William Hartnell recovers from a short illness. The Merry Men raid the castle through the secret passage, but while they successfully rescue Maid Marion, Robin is killed in the fighting. Ian escapes, and decides to pose as Robin in order to convince the Merry Men to return and rescue Susan, who is to be executed in his place. The Doctor resurfaces at the last moment, and, posing as a priest, he tricks the Sheriff into lowering his guard while Ian convinces the oppressed townsfolk to rise up against the corrupt Sheriff. The Merry Men join forces with the villagers and attack, and as the Sheriff flees for his life, Ian shares the bandits’ loot with the townspeople. This act and the lovestruck Marion’s unreliable memories will form the basis of the Robin Hood legend.

Time-Placement: The “broadcast dates” and production code, Serial I, place this story between Serial H and Serial J. The adventure ends with the Doctor detecting a build-up of space pressure, leading directly into Planet of Giants.

Come Friendly Bombs... by Dave Owen 3rd Doctor, Jo

Now that the Doctor can control the flight of the TARDIS, Jo asks him to take her back to the CND March in 1960 so she can understand why it was so important. For Jo, the Bomb has been a part of life, but while marching with the protestors, she gets a better idea of how devastating it actually is and why people were so frightened when it was introduced to their lives. When she asks the Doctor why he can’t just go back to change things so the nuclear bomb was never invented, he reminds her that nuclear power can be either deadly or beneficial to society, depending upon how it is used. Trying to erase the fact of its invention from history simply won’t work, as the principles remain and someone else could always discover them later on. What is important is ensuring that humanity’s moral sense evolves along with their technological capabilities. Satisfied with this answer, Jo sees the march through to its conclusion, unaware that it was the Doctor himself who slipped into Niels Bohr’s office after hours in Los Alamos and corrected the mistakes in his work, ensuring that history unfolded as it should.

Time-Placement: The Doctor can control his TARDIS’ flight, or so he claims, and Jo has apparently taken numerous lengthy trips in the TARDIS. This story also demonstrates her awakening social conscience, which presumably leads into The Green Death.

Graham Dilley Saves The World by Iain McLaughlin & Claire Bartlett 5th Doctor, Peri, Erimem

The Doctor discovers that history has been changed, plunging the world into a new dark age. He traces the source of the schism to Leeds in July 1981, when fielder Graham Dilley made a spectacular catch and the English cricket team won the Third Test of the Ashes series. In the new timeline, Dilley was distracted at the last moment and missed the catch, and a subsequent riot by disappointed fans sparked off further riots and civil unrest; other social factions took advantage of the chaos, and an assassination attempt on the Royal Family ended up killing half the world’s leaders, causing war and anarchy to spread across the globe. When the Doctor takes a closer look, he realises that Dilley was distracted by the sight of his own former companion, Tegan. He thus takes Peri and Erimem to the match and asks them to divert Tegan on their own; his own earlier self is already somewhere on the grounds, and the Doctor can’t afford to cross paths with himself for fear of triggering the Blinovitch Limitation Effect. Peri and Erimem must also avoid meeting Turlough, for fear of changing Peri’s own past. Peri and Erimem track down Tegan and try to engage her in a conversation, but their talking annoys a fan and his pregnant wife, and soon a blazing row develops between the five of them. The shouting match distracts Dilley, but Tegan shouts at him to keep his eyes on the ball, and he does, catching it. Tegan realises that she’s just cost Australia the match, and Peri and Erimem invite her to join them at the bar to drown her sorrows. The Doctor is rather disappointed with Peri and Erimem when they stagger back to the TARDIS, quite drunk, but while they sleep off their bender, he takes advantage of their absence to practice his own batting on the TARDIS cricket pitch.

Time-Placement: the story is told from the perspective of the Peri/Erimem timeframe. There are no references to other adventures; thus, we place this in sequence with the other Peri/Erimem stories.

Bide-a-Wee by Anthony Keetch 1st Doctor, Susan

The Doctor is relaxing at a B&B named Bide-a-Wee in Keelmouth, 1933, while his granddaughter spends time at the beach -- or so it seems until the Atkins family arrives in town. Jeff and his wife Ujwala are taken aback by the locals’ casual racism appalled reactions to the Atkins’ mixed marriage and their son, Craig -- but soon, Jeff and Ujwala seem to have grown accustomed to this treatment, and Ujwala has even forgotten that she used to be a brain surgeon, which of course is just silly. The Doctor sadly decides that the time has come to put an end to his vacation, and confronts another of the B&B’s residents, Prentice. Prentice admits that he used to roam through time and space, fighting the forces of evil, but that he has since retired to Keelmouth -- and, finding it a pleasant and quiet place in which to spend his retirement, he’s frozen the community in the year 1933. Outside Keelmouth, it’s the year 1999; a flaw in Prentice’s technology caused the Atkins family to slip through the cracks, and now they are subconsciously acclimatising to the social standards of 1933. Prentice is reluctant to put an end to his peaceful retirement, but the Doctor convinces young Craig to pretend that he has whooping cough, a disease that can be easily cured in 1999 but is fatal in 1933. Prentice sadly accepts that it’s time to put things right, and the Doctor helps him to bring Keelmouth back in synch with the outside world, leaving the Atkins family in their proper time period and returning everyone else to 1933.

Time-Placement: set before the start of the TV series. The Doctor is relatively familiar and comfortable with humanity, placing this after Frayed, but he and Susan have not yet settled in 1960s London, placing it before Time and Relative.

Mortlake by Mark Wright 6th Doctor, Evelyn

The TARDIS materialises in the village of Mortlake in 1568, and the Doctor introduces Evelyn to Dr John Dee. She knows him only as a quack and an astrologer, but according to the Doctor, he’s a scientist, mathematician and navigational expert -- albeit one who lives in an age in which sorcery and magic is considered just as real. Assuming the Doctor and Evelyn to be advisors to the Queen, Dee informs them that he has acquired a copy of the mystical Steganographia, with which he can summon a demon to carry messages throughout the world instantaneously. The Doctor recognises the text and tries to discourage Dee from using it, but Dee refuses to listen and recites the alien words in the book, summoning a demon that terrifies him into a fainting spell. The Doctor greets the “demon” byname as Padiel, and explains to Evelyn that the book is an artefact from the planet Sintra; the psionic potential unlocked by reciting the words opens a link to a subspace channel inhabited by avatars such as Padiel, who carry communications from place to place. Unless their summoners have the psionic power to control them, however, the avatars tend to get up to all kinds of mischief, and Earth is not yet ready for contact with them. The Doctor sends Padiel on his way with a message for his own pen pal on Sintra, and then awakens Dee and tells him that the experiment was a failure. He and Evelyn depart, taking the book with them, but Evelyn now has a better appreciation for Dee’s achievements, and the Doctor admits that she is destined to write a biography of Dee that will readdress this historical injustice.

Time-Placement: there are no references to other adventures; thus, we place this in sequence with the other Evelyn stories (or as close as possible, given the direct link between Project: Lazarus and Arrangements for War).

Continuity: this story seems to contradict Birthright, in which it is stated that John Dee was just one identity of a man, Jared Khan, whose life was extended by alien beings so he could hunt down the Doctor. Either Dee fails to recognise the Doctor in this story, which seems unlikely, or Jared Khan impersonated the real Dee in order to get close to Queen Elizabeth. An alternative version of John Dee, who is not Jared Khan either, appears in the audio A Storm of Angels.

White Man’s Burden by John Binns 5th Doctor, Turlough
Ian, Barbara

Pretoria, 11 April 1877: According to history, Secretary Melmeth Osborn is supposed to deliver a proclamation from Special Commissioner Sir Theopilus Shepstone announcing that Britain will be annexing the Transvaal, a minor but momentous incident in the history of British colonialism. However, when the Doctor and Turlough arrive, the announcement fails to occur. The Doctor investigates, fearing that one of his adversaries is meddling with history, but concludes that Shepstone simply exercised his natural free will and chose an alternative course of action. The Doctor tries to speak with Shepstone directly, but is unable to make an appointment; however, his attempts to do so attract the attention of Shepstone’s clerk, Henry Rider Haggard, who firmly believes that Britain should indeed annex the Transvaal. When Shepstone drafts a proclamation stating that the Transvaal is to remain independent, Haggard takes it to the Doctor instead of to President Burgers, and the Doctor forges a new, slightly different letter. Burgers’ response so riles Shepstone that, in the ensuing heated correspondence, the fact that the original message was forged goes unnoticed. As a result, Shepstone does in fact issue the proclamation of annexation, albeit on 12 April. The Doctor and Turlough depart, satisfied that history has been set on its proper course... and unaware that Shepstone’s original decision had been influenced by two visitors, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. The First Doctor had contracted a fever after an adventure in Kenya, and while Vicki tended to him, Barbara and Ian took advantage of his illness to slip away and see if they could in fact change history for the better. When the proclamation is read, Ian and Barbara return to the TARDIS, saddened to learn that history is apparently immutable after all.

Time-Placement: arbitrary, as there are no references to other known adventures.

Of the Mermaid and Jupiter by Ian Mond & Danny Heap 7th Doctor, Benny

16 October 1829: the Doctor and Benny book passage aboard the passenger ship Mermaid out of Sydney, but show up late, delaying the vessel’s departure. Perhaps due to the delay, the ship runs into a storm four days later that damages and sinks the vessel. The Doctor and Benny ensure that everyone evacuates safely, and three days later, the survivors are picked up by another ship, the Swiftsure. However, on the 28th, the Swiftsure runs into an unexpected current and is dashed against the rocks. Once again, the Doctor and Benny are instrumental in saving everyone’s lives, and later that day, the survivors are picked up by the Governor Ready... which burns to the waterline two and a half hours later. However, Benny spotted the Doctor slipping into the cargo hold shortly before the fire broke out, and she realises that the Doctor has been sinking the ships deliberately. When the survivors are picked up by the Comet, the Doctor asks Benny to apply an acid to the ship’s mast so it will snap during the next storm, assuring her that this is vital to the integrity of the Web of Time. Benny reluctantly does so, and on 3 November, the mast snaps during a storm and the ship sinks. By now, even though nobody has actually died, the crew of the Mermaid are considered to be jinxed; however, the Doctor and Benny intervene to ensure that the tensions do not lead to violence. Finally, in the early hours of 4 November, the many survivors are picked up by the Jupiter, a passenger liner en route for Sydney. Aboard the Jupiter is a dying woman named Sarah Richley, whose son, Peter, was a crewman aboard the Mermaid. She would have died without ever being reunited with her son, but when they meet aboard the Jupiter, their joyful reunion give her the strength to fight off her illness. She will survive for years to come. The Doctor admits to Benny that he owed Sarah a favour, but when Benny asks him why he didn’t just transport Sarah directly to Sydney in the TARDIS rather than going to all this trouble, she is rather peeved to realise that it hadn’t occurred to him to do so.

Time-Placement: Benny is familiar with the Doctor’s manipulative ways and with Ace’s predilection for violence; thus, we place this during their solo travels after Set Piece.

The Man Who Wouldn’t Give Up by Nev Fountain 6th Doctor, Mel

The Doctor visits King Alfred of Wessex, who has disguised himself as a minstrel in order to spy on his Danish enemies and is now hiding out in Somerset with a swineherd and his wife, considering the insurmountable challenges that face him. The Doctor, claiming to be a wizard from the future, gives the King a pep talk to bolster his spirit, assuring him that his work will result in the founding of a great country called England. The Doctor departs, leaving the King to ponder his words with new hope for the future -- until he notices that the Doctor has taken the cakes he was supposed to be watching. When the swineherd’s wife returns, the embarrassed Alfred tries to tell her that her cakes were stolen by a wizard, but eventually gives up and claims that they he fell asleep and let them burn. Meanwhile, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS, where he assures Mel that he’s sticking to his diet; however, as soon as she’s left the console room, he eats the cakes and sets off to crash a certain Last Supper...

Time-Placement: placed in sequence with the other Sixth Doctor/Mel stories.

One Small Step... by Nicholas Briggs 2nd Doctor, Jamie, Zoe

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe enjoy a relaxing day at the seaside on the Isle of Wight while all of the other holidaymakers are inside, watching Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon. The Doctor pops into town to buy ice cream and meets a young boy who’s grown bored with the fuzzy, dull TV show and has wandered outside. The Doctor advises the boy to return home before his mother gets worried, and the boy rushes off -- straight into the path of a car that knocks him down, shattering his legs beyond repair. Stricken, the Doctor rushes back to the beach, bundles Jamie and Zoe into the TARDIS, and breaks the laws of Time by returning to the beach and overwriting his previous arrival. This time, he remains on the beach instead of going into town, thus ensuring that he doesn’t meet the boy and doesn’t give him such tragically well-intentioned advice. The boy only meets the Doctor once more; later in life while he’s alone in the bath for the first time ever, he hears a friendly and oddly familiar voice outside the bathroom door, and never feels fear again, knowing that someone’s out there, looking out for him.

Time-Placement: the Doctor recalls past adversaries up to the Krotons.

To Kill a Nandi Bear by Paul Williams 4th Doctor, Sarah, Harry

The TARDIS materialises in Nyasaland, and the Doctor, Sarah and Harry are found examining the dead body of a tribesman. The tribe’s shaman declares that the man was killed by a duba, or “Nandi Bear,” a mythical beast whose existence has never been verified. When Harry questions this diagnosis, the shaman declares that the strangers are evil sorcerers who summoned the Nandi Bear to kill Mposi. The chief gives the Doctor a chance to save himself by capturing the Nandi Bear, but privately admits that he does not believe in the creature’s existence himself; he believes that Mposi staggered out drunk on the eve of his daughter’s wedding, fell and injured himself, and was set upon by a known predator. However, he is unwilling to challenge the shaman’s authority, as the tribe would then blame him for any subsequent disasters to befall them. Nevertheless, the Doctor convinces him that it is wrong to do nothing while innocent people die, and the chief thus arranges to help him trick the shaman. Harry slips back to the TARDIS, dons a gorilla suit, and lures the hunting party back to the TARDIS, where he enters. The Doctor then claims that the magic box has entrapped the Nandi Bear, and he and Sarah follow it inside to dispose of it. They then dematerialise, but know that the chief will likely pay for this deception; indeed, when the shaman realises that he’s been tricked, he kills the chief for this betrayal. Sarah realises that they have “confirmed” the existence of the Nandi Bear to the tribe and caused the death of its most rational member, setting the tribe’s development back by centuries.

Time-Placement: although the travellers’ casual attitude towards arriving in Africa doesn’t fit easily with the Doctor’s attempt to answer the Brigadier’s distress call, this is the only gap in which the story can reasonably be placed. Presumably the TARDIS drifted off course, as it is wont to do, and the travellers simply assumed that they could get back to the Brigadier in time to answer his call for help. It is also possible that Harry resumed his travels with the Doctor and Sarah at some later point in time, but we have no evidence to support this.

Fixing a Hole by Samantha Baker 6th Doctor, Tegan

Following the strange incident involving the Sontarans and young Gareth Jenkins, the Doctor tries to take Tegan back home, only to materialise in the middle of a blizzard. He and Tegan set off to explore their surroundings, and eventually must shelter in an abandoned burger van; a hole has rusted through the roof, and inside the van is wet and uncomfortable. As the Doctor tries to mend the hole, he asks Tegan whether she’d prefer to return home or keep travelling with him. She tells him that she’s moved on with her life; she appreciates the time she spent with him, but she’s got her job back, she’s met someone, and she’s ready to settle down. Understanding, the Doctor takes her out of the caravan to reveal that they’ve touched down just outside Heathrow Airport on 23 February 1985, shortly before she was whisked away to the TARDIS. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, satisfied that Tegan will make the most of her life.

Time-Placement: this takes place after the Jim’ll Fix It sketch In a Fix With Sontarans. If this fits into regular continuity, then since the Doctor claims that he last saw Tegan about a year ago in his time, we suggest placing this after Davros, in which he was temporarily travelling alone. Alternatively, see the earlier short story, CHAOS.

Continuity: Tegan doesn’t say who it is that she’s met, but fan fiction developments suggest that it may be Johnny Chess, the pop singer and son of Ian and Barbara Chesterton, who appeared briefly in The King of Terror. A future Tegan appears in Good Companions, in which she has dismissed her travels with the Doctor as the result of a mental breakdown.

That Time I Nearly Destroyed The World Whilst Looking For a Dress by Joseph Lidster Polly

Perky Polly Wright begins running the GEZ record company after the death of her boss, Maurice, in a groupie-related heart attack. By the turn of the millennium, she has become one of the flashiest celebrities in pop culture, at least until she collapses at the funeral of a reality-TV host who was shot by a stalker. A glam female spirit appears to her in a flash of white light, claims to be God, and sends Polly on a quest through Time in search of the best possible dress for the Millennium parties. Polly finds herself transported to a medieval dungeon with Maid Marion, her exact double, and as they talk, Polly manages to convince Marion that the Robin Hood she’s describing is a lecherous nogoodnik and that Marion should stand up for herself. Some confusion ensues when Ian Chesterton and Susan Foreman show up with the First Doctor, who’s claiming to be an apothecary -- and to everyone’s bemusement, another Susan then materialises in the dungeon out of nowhere. Just before the two Susans come into contact, Polly is transported to Keelmouth, where she sees a young boy named Craig apparently trying to fool the Doctor and a man named Prentice into believing that he has whooping cough. Polly reveals the truth, and Prentice, upset at being manipulated, uses his time equipment to locate Susan and transport her elsewhere in Time, out of the Doctor’s reach. Polly continues to leap through Time, causing historical changes in Pompeii, the Galapagos Islands, and Colditz Castle (where she helps a woman named Klein who’s trapped in the wrong era). She then finds herself back at the Ashes match in 1981, where she sees her younger self and her husband arguing with three young women. This is where her life changed; the young girls’ casual insults caused her to re-evaluate her life, and she threw away comfort, stability and love for an exciting, glam but ultimately shallow lifestyle. Furious, she confronts the girls, but the commotion distracts Graham Dilley and causes him to miss his catch; in the ensuing confusion, two versions of the Fifth Doctor show up to investigate, and the Blinovitch Limitation Effect causes a massive explosion. Polly is transported to a field in 11th-century Eastern Europe, where her sudden appearance startles a man practicing with a longbow, causing him to shoot and kill Adric. As she continues to leap through Time, seeing history fracture and collapse around her as a result of her actions, she realises how terribly she’s screwed up the relationships in her life, especially with her alienated son, Mikey. Finally, the Time Lords intervene and rescue Polly, explaining that she’s been manipulated by a hostile force to cause the collapse of history and that they’ve sent in the Doctor to sort it out. Polly awakens to find that the Second Doctor and Jamie, who now appear much older than she remembers, brought Ben Jackson to the celebrity funeral, where he gave her the kiss of life and revived her. The Doctor takes his friends back to his house on Allen Road, where Ben and Polly finally admit that they’ve always loved each other, and Polly sees in the new millennium with her true friends.

Time-Placement: for Polly, this takes place some time after her travels with the Doctor, and after Curriculum Vitae. Since it’s the Second Doctor who sorts out the problem, and he’s explicitly placed in “Season 6b,” that’s where we’ve located the story on the timeline.

Continuity: though it’s not explicitly stated, the context of the story would suggest that Polly visited Pompeii during The Fires of Vulcan and the Galapagos Islands during Bloodtide. The Doctor’s house on Allen Road was introduced in the comic strip Fellow Travellers, and became a mainstay of the New Adventures following its appearance in Cat’s Cradle: Warhead.

Source: Cameron Dixon

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