edited by Neil Corry
An anthology of brand new Doctor Who short stories that weave a spell over the wonder that is Doctor Who.
A plot to kidnap Elvis Presley...
A woman whose horoscopes prove rather too accurate...
A devastating army of mythical beasts that conquers Britain...
The Doctor and his travelling companions live magical lives – but their lives are tainted by terror. Delve into bizarre, wondrous or simply horrifying worlds with the Doctor and his friends as they land on a world where everyone can fly, help a good friend trapped four centuries in the past, and face aliens that simply want to bring peace to humanity.
by James Goss
On the trail of a rogue ‘thinking book’, a sentient bestiary of legendary and magical creatures which has escaped its publisher’s recall, the Doctor tracks the tome to Earth, where he finds it busily creating bizarre beasts such as a unicorn and a phoenix out of scraps of rubbish and animal parts. Aided by a talking cat and a house-bound neighbour under heavy medication for a mysterious rash, the Doctor manages to defeat the book just as it manifests a dragon formed from human and animal body parts. After the Doctor has departed in the TARDIS, the neighbour’s rash finally transforms him into a copy of the Time Lord, who then outwits the book’s final manifestation, the personification of Fire.
*Featuring the Eighth Doctor
'The Power Supply'
by Eddie Robson
Arriving on Ca-Mon Green, the Doctor, Steven and Vicki are captured by the planet’s Frontman, Quosh Malven, who suspects them of spying for his people enemies. Having convinced Malven of their innocence, the travellers learn that the human settlers are at war with the planet’s original inhabitants, the Kel-T, over the mining rights to a mysterious blue liquid that apparently bestows superpowers. When the war abruptly ends the settlers begin celebrating, but their jubilation is quickly curtailed when people die from vomiting up huge amounts of the blue liquid. Having synthesized an antidote, the Doctor surmises that the lethal affliction was triggered by a signal from the Kel-T; meanwhile, Steven and Vicki determine that the settlers’ superpowers were nothing more than a mass-hallucination, as part of the Kel-T’s plans to create more of the precious fluid that maintains them and their world. After Doctor orders the Kel-T to stop their unethical scheme, the humans decide to leave the planet. Two hundred years later, the Kel-T recommence their ruthless plan to replenish supplies of the precious liquid by luring unwary travellers to their world – only to be stopped once more by the timely arrival of the Doctor…
*Featuring the First Doctor, Steven and Vicki, and the Fifth Doctor
*Time-placing: there is no indication of whom the Fifth Doctor is travelling with, so I'm choosing to place this during Season 19a
by Ian Farrington
Travelling home from work on the London Underground, Miranda Peel meets a strange little man called the Doctor; they instantly make friends, and decide to go for a drink. Enjoying the Doctor’s company, Miranda finds herself telling him how she lives her life through horoscopes, in particular the predictions published in the weekly gossip magazine ‘24/7’, a free copy of which she gets from her neighbour Tony, who works for the publishers. Although the Doctor is perturbed at Miranda’s lack of free will, he appreciates that she is happy, and their conversation continues until it is time to part company. Miranda and the Doctor meet again the next day, and again go for a drink. When the Doctor reveals that he tracked down the author of the horoscopes and learnt that they were being edited by Tony, Miranda is shocked; however, the Doctor reassures her that her neighbour meant no harm, he merely has a crush on her, but is too shy to say anything. Miranda finally decides to take charge of her life, and, filled with renewed happiness, she sets off to see Tony…
*Featuring the Second Doctor
*Time-placing: the Second Doctor is travelling with Jamie and Zoe, placing this during Season 6
'Hiccup In Time'
by Matthew James
Stranded in 1539 as a result of the Doctor’s experiments with the TARDIS console, Liz finds a safe place to stay by ingratiating herself with the Duke of Norfolk. Over the next three months Liz makes a name for herself as a doctor and a scientist; her reputation soon comes to the attention of King Henry, who requests her help with a troublesome bound of apparently incurable hiccups. Norfolk is sent into a panic, fearing that failure to cure the King will result in his and Liz’s execution, and when all of Liz’s attempts prove fruitless, all seems lost. At that moment the Doctor arrives on the scene; believing Liz had left for Cambridge, he finally realised she was missing after receiving a message from himself, but was unable to come to her rescue until the Time Lords had restored his knowledge of the TARDIS. After using his sonic screwdriver to cure the King’s cataracts the Doctor shows him the interior of the TARDIS – and the shock of the experience immediately cures the monarch’s hiccups. Departing in the TARDIS, the Doctor tells Liz that to ensure that history runs its course she will have to take some leave from U.N.I.T. and stay in Cambridge…
*Featuring the Third Doctor and Liz
*Time-placing: this story explains why Liz does not appear in Season 8, so I'm placing it at the very end of Season 7
by Steve Lyons
Arriving in New York in 1856, the Doctor enjoys a few days discussing philosophy and literature in the company of learned men, while a bored Leela stays behind at their hotel to attend a séance conducted by the infamous Fox sisters. When the girls summon up the spirit of Neeva, the Sevateem’s shaman, Leela is confused, as she no longer believes in ghosts after her travels with the Doctor. Attributing the supernatural events to be the work of aliens, Leela holds a knife to the throat of one of the ‘possessed’ girls, demanding her release; but the Doctor intervenes, explaining that the Fox sisters are merely charlatans who learnt about Leela’s past by eavesdropping on her conversations with him. Although cross that Leela’s actions mean they must leave town, the Doctor still is still ensued that the girls created their own kind of magic.
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Leela
'The Fall of the Druids'
by David N. Smith
The TARDIS lands in First Century A.D. England, at a Celtic hill fort under attack by Roman soldiers. Tegan is injured during the battle, but the Doctor manages to take her and the tribe’s soothsayer, Ffion, to the safety of the Isle of Mona. Meanwhile, the cowardly Turlough sneaks back to the TARDIS, but is stopped from leaving in the ship by Kamelion, who transforms into a Roman soldier and then sets off to rescue his friends; together with one of the Celts, Cadwallon, they infiltrate the Roman camp and join the soldiers on an assault on the island. When Ffion uses her powers to transfix the attacking enemy forces, the Doctor is forced to stop her to ensure that history stays on course. As the battle between the Romans and the druids rages, the Doctor uses Ffion’s mask to create a psychic perception filter, allowing him and his comrades to remain undetected. After two days the battle finally ends; saddened at the mass slaughter of the druids, the Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Kamelion bid farewell to Cadwallon and slip away in the TARDIS…
*Featuring the Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Turlough and Kamelion
by Cavan Scott
and Mark Wright
For a birthday treat the Doctor takes Peri to Las Vegas in 1971, to see her idol, Elvis Presley, perform at the Hilton. While Peri enjoys a drink downstairs, the Doctor nips up to Elvis’ hotel suite, only to be knocked unconscious and kidnapped by a cyclopic alien known as a Mongarian. Teleported aboard the aliens’ ship hovering above the city, the Doctor is horrified to find that the Mongarians are holding Elvis captive, and have connected him to a DNA splicer so that they can make a fortune from selling clones of the King on the convention circuit; furthermore, the Mongarians have amassed a collection of different Elvises, taken from various key points in his timeline. Outraged, the Doctor turns the tables on the alien traders, forcing them to listen to one of the King’s L.P.s from their stockpile of merchandise; realising that their unethical plan to get rich will only serve to undermine the importance of Elvis’ talent, the Mongarians agree to let the King go, and then destroy the clones. Having ensured that Elvis is returned to his hotel suite unharmed, the Doctor asks the King to sign an autograph for Peri; he then rejoins his companion in the audience, along with the Mongarians, as the King appears on stage for his unforgettable performance…
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri
*Time-placing: the Doctor is still eating meat, placing this prior to the events of ‘The Two Doctors’
'Have You Tried Turning It Off
and Then Back On Again?'
by John Callaghan
From his control room in the centre of his planet, the omniscient Creator diligently looks after his followers, ensuring that all their prayers and wishes are fulfilled. One of his flock, Slove, goes with his parents to their city’s Committee Building to worship their god, but he soon decides to sneak off to attend the grand bicycle race in which everyone is competing. However, not long after the race has begun the competitors begin transforming into blue-skinned, brain-hungry zombies; seemingly unaffected, Slove meets two strangers, the Doctor and Mel, and together they seek refuge in the Committee Building. Meanwhile, the Creator desperately searches for a way to cure his people, and turns to his deity handbook for help. Back at the Committee Building, the Doctor explains that the population have been infected by a semi-intelligent alien fungus known as the Benoride Spread. When Slove finally succumbs to the contagion, the Doctor realises that the delay was due to the pungent incense that the boy and his parents have been inhaling; with the help of Slove’s family, the Doctor and Mel set fire to the building, ensuring that the vats of incense are released into the atmosphere, curing all the infected people. Meanwhile, the Creator finds a way to ‘re-boot’ his flock by channelling all the power from his control systems into a huge lightning strike. As everyone wakes up with no recollection of recent events, Slove’s family ignore the Doctor’s attempt at a rational explanation, preferring instead to give thanks to the Creator. The Doctor and Mel depart in the TARDIS – and the Creator decides to take a well-earned holiday…
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor and Mel
'The Reign Makers'
by Gareth Wigmore
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive in France in 1415, as King Henry V and his troops are marching to the forthcoming Battle of Agincourt. Knowing that conditions on the battlefield must be muddy so that the fight is in Henry’s favour, the Doctor sets about fashioning a crude set of rocket launchers with which to make the clouds overhead rain. Meanwhile, Susan dresses as a page boy and ingratiates herself into Henry’s favour, keeping the king occupied while her grandfather carries out his plan. Seeing that his men have grown weary, Henry decides to disguise himself as one of the soldiers and move amongst them, raising their spirits for the battle to come. Despite Susan’s best efforts, Henry soon sees the Doctor and Ian at work on the battlefield; taking the two men for spies, the king tries to stop them, but Barbara intervenes and manages to convince him that they are doing God’s will. The Doctor’s plan works, and a torrential downpour ensues. Reconvening at the TARDIS, the time travellers make a swift departure as history runs its course…
*Featuring the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan
'Pass It On'
by Simon Guerrier
Encounters with the Doctor can have a positive impact on peoples lives: after a woman literally bumps into the Second Doctor she finds new meaning and purpose in her life by getting a job as a librarian; the kindness she shows to an inquisitive boy leads him to grow up to become a psychologist; his work provides help to a woman dealing with the repercussions of a mind-boggling incident with the Sixth Doctor; in turn the woman becomes a magistrate, and shows kindness to a wayward youth named ‘Ace’…
*Featuring the Second and Sixth Doctors, and Ace
*The Second Doctor appears to be travelling alone, so I'm placing this in Season 6a
'The Science of Magic'
by Michael Rees
Britain is besieged by a massive army of mythical creatures, its population is enslaved and its capital and major cities brought under the control of the Witch-Queen Karolina. In retaliation, U.N.I.T. joins forces with the army to see off the invaders, but the Brigadier is killed in the ensuing conflict. While Sergeant Benton leads a team of soldiers to rescue a village from the Witch-Queen’s clutches, the Doctor and Jo set off to infiltrate the evil monarch’s woodland fortress in an attempt to reason with her; they journey is fraught with danger, and as they brave attacks from minotaurs, centaurs, dragons and sprites, Liz’s rational mind struggles to come to terms with such non-scientific creatures. Eventually reaching the Witch-Queen’s castle, the Doctor challenges the woman to a dual for the fate of the country, but despite his best efforts he is swiftly beaten; however, before he can be put to death Liz steps into the fray and denounces the existence of magic – and before her startled eyes, Karolina immediately loses her power, while everything around them is restored to normal. The Brigadier arrives on the scene, having faked his own death to allow him to move freely, and explains that Karolina is in fact an escaped mental patient named Caroline Brown, who discovered a crystal staff with hypnotic powers; by breaking into a television studio Caroline was able to convince the entire country to believe in her magic powers, and the existence of her mythical army. Some time later, after Caroline has been taken away to the confines of a padded cell, Liz is confused to learn that the woman was perfectly normal, and her magic crystal merely glass; Liz is forced to wonder whether her own interaction with the staff caused it to remove all magic from the world. Meanwhile, Caroline plots her revenge on Liz…
*Featuring the Third Doctor, Liz, the Brigadier and UNIT
by Jim Sangster
The Brigadier uses the space-time telegraph to recall the Doctor to U.N.I.T. to resume his engagement as Scientific Advisor. The Doctor is outraged, even more so when the Brigadier refuses to accept his resignation. Meanwhile, Sarah meets with Harry and learns that U.N.I.T. is going through a quiet period, with no alien threats reported for the last two months; Sarah immediately realises this is due to a warning beacon the Doctor set up, when they were battling giant slugs on the Moon. As Sarah tries to calm the Doctor down, Benton arrives with news of alien activity over the Channel Island; the Brigadier immediately swings into action to do what he does best, allowing the Doctor and Sarah to sneak off in the TARDIS to resume their travels…
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor, Sarah, Harry the Brigadier and UNIT
*Time-placing: the Doctor is using the TARDIS' secondary control room, placing this story within Season 14
'Trial By Fire'
by Mike Amberry
Arriving in Medieval France, the Doctor and Evelyn investigate reports of a local legend called the woodwose. However, they soon find themselves accused of practising sorcery, and taken by soldiers to be tried by the Grand Inquisitor Arnaud Amalric. Arriving outside Carcassonne, a city under siege from an army of Crusader knights, the Doctor and Evelyn are brought before the Grand Inquisitor, who immediately decides to burn them at the stake in a trial by fire: if the flames find them guilty they will burn in Hell, and if innocent, their souls will go to Heaven. The Doctor’s attempts to reason with the Grand Inquisitor fall on deaf ears, and even a cunning ruse fails to convince the man of their innocence, but luckily for him and Evelyn they are freed at the last minute by a young pageboy, and manage to slip away unseen in the TARDIS. As the Grand Inquisitor leads the knights onto the city, they are surprised to find the place deserted, its citizens having fled to safety through a secret tunnel system.
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn
by Stephen Hatcher
Hogarth City on the planet Charisma is a filthy, lawless hole inhabitant by thieves and murderers. Here the Sixth Doctor meets a watchman, who tells him about a spate of murders, and the mystery of how the victims were seen after their bodies were discovered. When the Doctor asks the watchman to tell him his story the man finds himself compelled to comply, but as he speaks he becomes weaker and weaker, while the Doctor appears to gain strength. Then the truth is revealed: the watchman is really the Seventh Doctor in disguise, and the man before him is a Logovore, a shape-shifting word eater that feeds off its victim’s life essences; the Doctor’s earlier self faced the creature two days ago, and he has now come back to confront it. As a mental battle the Doctor compels the Logovore to tell its own story; however, to the Doctor’s distress the creature then goes on to recount the stories of its victims, before the strain finally kills it. Saddened by the creature’s inadvertent death, the Doctor leaves in the TARDIS before his earlier self returns.
*Featuring the Seventh Doctor
*Time-placing: the Doctor is wearing his cream linen suit, placing this during the ‘New Adventures’ era
'Once Upon a Time Machine'
by Stephen Dunn
Jo tells her five year old daughter Lisa a bedtime story, recounting an adventure she shared with the Doctor, when they became embroiled in a disagreement between twin princesses competing for the title of queen. The princesses were subjected to a number of tests to prove their worth, but the selfish and cruel Sophia continually cheated, beating her sister, the gentle and caring Alice, every time. However, during the final test the Doctor used the TARDIS to make a quick trip into the future, ensuring that Alice is declared to be the more worthy, and therefore crowned queen.
*Featuring the Third Doctor and Jo
*Time-placing: this could take place any time between 'The Three Doctors' and 'The Green Death', so I'm choosing to place it in the early part of Season 10
'Mardi Gras Massacre'
by Arnold T. Blumberg
The TARDIS lands the Doctor and Peri in New Orleans in 1932, during the Mardis Gras celebrations. While Peri finds something to eat at a nearby restaurant called the ‘Legendre Lounge’, the Doctor sets off in search of a Mykosian Pod, an alien spaceship that has crash-landed in the bayou. Aided in his mission by a fortune teller named Madam Ledanois, the Doctor soon finds that the city’s revellers are transforming into zombies; a quick investigation reveals that the people are being mesmerised by ‘The Elixir of Life’, a free drink provided by Cassandra, the owner of the ‘Legendre Lounge’. When Peri comes under attack from a gang of zombies in the restaurant’s kitchen, she discovers that chicory breaks the spell, returning her assailants back to normal. Peri rescues the Doctor and Madam Ledanois from a zombie attack, and together the trio track down the Mykosian, imprisoned inside a cage, its blood drained by Cassandra to form the basis of the elixir. Confronting Cassandra, the Doctor realises that her mad plan to bring down the government with her telepathically-controlled zombies is due to her possession by the Mykosian’s pendant, which is using her emotions to fulfil its mission to invade the planet. The Mykosian puts things right by retrieving the pendant, but although the city’s inhabitants are freed from the device’s influence, the experience drives Cassandra insane. Leaving Madam Ledanois to take care of Cassandra, the Doctor and Peri enjoy the Mardi Gras celebrations before they take the Mykosian home.
*Featuring the Sixth Doctor and Peri
'Blessed Are the Peacemakers'
by Caleb Woodbridge
Arriving in Egypt during the Crusades, the Doctor and Sarah encounter a group of knights led by Count Otto of Henneberg. Passing themselves off as pilgrims, the Doctor and Sarah accompany the knights back to their camp, where they meet the legendary monk, Francis of Assisi, and learn of a series of recent attacks on the knights by a force of large, humanoid insects. When the beetles attack again and kidnap Sarah, the Doctor and Francis ask the knights’ leader, Cardinal Pelagis, to allow them to ask his enemy, the Sultan of Egypt, Al-Kamid, to ask for help. Meanwhile, Sarah finds herself a prisoner of the Barasci, insectoid aliens who are attempting to conquer the planet by brainwashing their captives with a Mindspell, and then assimilating them into their hive mind; the aliens take over Sarah, so that they can use her as a conduit through which to carry out their plan. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Francis and Count Otto join forces with the Sultan’s men, and together they mount a raid on the Barasci ship; the army soon fall under the aliens’ Mindspell, but the Doctor manages to hypnotise Francis, enabling the monk to fight off the psychic attack. Breaking into the aliens’ vessel, the Doctor and Francis manage to find Sarah, but are unable to free her from the aliens’ influence; however, when Francis demonstrates how he is prepared to give his life to save Sarah, the spell is broken. Sarah uses her mind-link with the Barasci to introduce the aliens to the concept of freedom and individuality, which disrupts their hive mind. With the humans now freed from the aliens’ control, the Doctor sends the creatures back into space, as they struggle to cope with their new-found disunity…
*Featuring the Fourth Doctor and Sarah
*Time-placing: this story occurs after ‘Pyramids of Mars’
*Published by Big Finish