1st Doctor 2nd Doctor 3rd Doctor 4th Doctor
5th Doctor 6th Doctor 7th Doctor 8th Doctor
Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed my Life
edited by Simon Guerrier

Cover Blurb
Short Trips: How the Doctor Changed my Life

The schoolboy whose twin brother vanished in the night. A woman whose house teems with alien refugees. The dad who dies every evening...

All through space and time live people, ordinary people, whose lives have been turned upside down.

People who’ve lost jobs and loved ones, or seen their homes destroyed, or found themselves on whole other planets. They’ve nothing in common with one another except that their lives can never be the same. Because they’re people who’ve met the Doctor. Featuring 25 original stories from 25 brand-new authors – the winners of a competition to seek out bold new writing talent!

  • This is the twenty-sixth volume of short stories published by Big Finish in the Short Trips series. It was the result of a competition by Big Finish to find new writers.
  • Released: September 2008
    ISBN: 978 1 84435 341 5
Homework by Michael Coen 2nd Doctor, Jame and Zoe
Norman Bean writes a homework assignment that tells what he did during his summer holidays. One night, Norman was woken in his bed by an apparition that resembled his father. The apparition claims to be Norman's older self, but visiting from thirty years in the future. He instructs the younger Norman to buy lots of toys but not to take them out of their packaging, saying that this will lead to him being a lot richer later in life. While t his seems a ridiculous idea to the young Norman, he points out the practicalities: he doesn't have any money to buy the specified toys. The apparition vanishes and Norman decides that his mum won't believe him so he keeps the incident to himself. In the park the next day he meets the Doctor who offers him a jelly baby and asks if he has ever seen a ghost. Norman kicks the Doctor in the shins and runs off to get the park keeper but the Doctor has vanished. The next night the apparition reappears, trying to persuade Norman to steal some money from his grandmother, saying that she won't need it as she has only a week to live. He says that Norman can use this money to buy the toys but the young Norman argues that stealing is wrong. The next day Norman meets Zoe. She seems to know that he is going to visit his grandmother and is keen to impress on him the importance of not doing anything to hurt her, even if the old lady never found out about it. That night the apparition returns but becomes solid. He is jubilant that he can 'travel back and forth' but is accosted by the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie. They take the older Norman away and the Doctor says he has closed the time-rift that he had found. Zoe is keen to impress on Norman that he should remember what is important. His mother does not believe what he says about all this and even when his grandmother dies she treats it all as some sort of premonition in a dream. Norman decides that Zoe's silver suit must indicate that she is from the future and develops an interest in books about space travel. He is still puzzled by what Zoe meant about things being important but reconciles himself with the thought that he might understand better when he is older.

Time-Placement: Just before The Seeds of Death. (also printed in Defining Patterns)

Change Management by Simon Moore 6th Doctor and Mel
Pip Hexiflorn is in a job he hates, working for Flux Control in a management role. His firm is feeding people alive to the Flux Beast to save tourist planets in a threatened area of space. The Doctor and Mel visit Pip and access the controls of the Cage Control, setting the Flux Beast free. They then incite the workers to free their prisoners and rise up against Flux Control. Pip learns that the Beast was not a space monster but a consequence of Flux control's temporal paralysis of the tourist worlds. The Doctor's actions are the catalyst Pip needs to take control of the company and make a positive contribution to everyone's welfare.

Time-Placement: Before Spiral Scratch

Curiosity by Mike Amberry 5th Doctor and Nyssa
A distress call takes the doctor and Nyssa to an old spaceship, the SS Hermes. They meet an eight year old girl, Ailsa. She introduces them to her father who is the Chief Officer on the vessel. They also meet the other officers and learn that the crew of the ship and its passengers are the descendants of the original voyagers who set off to colonise a planet in the Ardelban system. It transpires that the ship landed on the planet a century earlier but nobody has dared to leave the ship for fear of the 'shadows' that killed the first explorers to disembark. The Doctor realises that there are plants on the planet which release spores every hundred years and cause hallucinations in humans. The 'shadows' were visions the first explorers suffered as a result. The officers refuse to believe the Doctor and he departs but after he has gone Ailsa opens the hatch and steps out. The world outside is beautiful and ideal for settlement.

Time-Placement: Before Arc of Infinity

Potential by Stephen Dunn 3rd Doctor
The narrator looks back at an incident from his schooldays when he saw the latest incident in a long series of bullying events in the schoolyard but felt powerless to intervene. He was near the school medical room when a tall man, dressed oddly (the Doctor) emerged. Thinking that he was talking to a new teacher he pointed out the bullying but the Doctor told him to think not of the boy as he was but the man he would become. The Doctor strode off into an empty classroom and moments later the TARDIS engines were heard. Furious at the 'teacher's' inaction the narrator went to the head teacher and reported the bullying which stopped immediately. Looking back the narrator doubts what he felt at the time, that the Doctor had been talking about either the bully or his victim, but rather he had been talking about the narrator himself.

Time-Placement: Before The Green Death

Second Chances by Bernard O'Toole 8th Doctor and Charley
The Doctor and Charley ruin the plans of evil scientist Dennis Krellig to rule the world. He is forced by circumstance to move back in with his parents and get a job in the local biscuit factory. He still dreams that he will rule the world and stays late into the night to use his boss's computer to hack into the national defence grids, intending to launch a nuclear strike. At the crucial moment he is interrupted when the cleaner walks into the office and he realises that it is Maureen, a friend from his youth and the only girl who ever showed any interest in him. Grabbing his second chance he abandons his evil plans and asks her out.

Time-Placement: Before Neverland

Child's Play by LM Myles 4th Doctor and Romana
Kirsty is working in an old toyshop at weekends, to finance her university education. She is becoming more and more unnerved by the fact that even when the shop seems to be empty she can hear noises and thinks that things are moving in the darkened shelves. The Doctor and Romana arrive in the shop one Saturday and start to talk to some of the dolls. One of the toys replies, much to her amazement. The Doctor tells Kirsty that the toys are being animated by alien children so that they can go and steal sweets from a shop nearby. The Doctor tells the aliens off for manipulating a spatial distortion and says if they carry on he will inform their parents. Kirsty is thankful and gives the Doctor a new red yoyo as a present.

Time-Placement: Near The Horns of Nimon

Relativity by Michael Montoure 7th Doctor and Ace
Evan has got a reputation for being crazy. He returns again and again to a patch of waste ground where a house once stood, claiming that he can hear the distant rise and fall of engines. The only person who seems to believe him is a girl from his class, Rebecca. Over the years they fall in love and marry, and though the sounds of engines are growing fainter Evan can still hear them. He tells Rebecca about the night when aliens entered his house while he was in bed. Only a child, he went to investigate and saw the alien leaning over his mother. As it turned to him Ace hit the alien with a poker. Another alien was threatening Evan's brother James but somehow the Doctor seemed to turn the house inside out to rescue the boy. Ace and the Doctor took Evan and his brother James out of the house but the Doctor told Evan that his parents were dead. The Doctor tells the boys that the aliens are trying to use a timer fissure on which the house stands to invade Earth. Because the boys are genetically identical they want to study them and see how it is possible to exist in that place. James enters the TARDIS, delighted at what he sees, but Evan is scared and steps out, exactly as Ace blows up the house. The TARDIS leaves, not for another place but for another time. Soon after telling all this to Rebecca Evan starts to see a faint outline of the TARDIS again at the corner of the street. He starts to clear out the box room and to go round to his aunt's house to collect his old toys. Despite her misgivings, Rebecca supports him in his plans until one night Evan wakes her and they run, laughing, into the street. The TARDIS is materialising and the door is opening.

Time-Placement: After Colditz

Outstanding Balance by Tim Lambert 2nd Doctor, Jamie and Zoe
The Grand Ticket has called Ticketer Gento to appear before him and explain why the Doctor's continued illegal parking of the TARDIS on the planet of the Ovoids has gone unpunished. Gento resorts to dressing as a cat to board the TARDIS (due to Zoe's kind-heartedness) and disable the controls but a volcanic eruption occurs and the Doctor needs to use the TARDIS to cut off the lava flow. Gento permits the controls to be reactivated and a threatened city is saved but the Doctor sees through Gento's disguise. Gento tells the Grand Ticket that the Doctor gave him some diamonds which Gento has used to pay off the TARDIS's parking fines (but has kept one diamond for himself).

Time-Placement: Zoe in silver cat suit, around the start of season six .Near The Krotons

The Last Thing You Ever See by Richard Goff 4th Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry
The Doctor is using the Time Ring to travel with Sarah and Harry. They arrive aboard an apparently deserted space station and begin to explore. The Doctor and Sarah are separated from Harry and face a series of murderous booby traps. Harry is taken for a patient and exposed to the painful 'treatment' meted out by a series of doctors. The Doctor and Sarah meet an android, Henry, who informs them that they are on the Desolii, a famous ghost ship for which the Doctor has the deactivation codes. The Doctor powers down the ships operations and the trio set out to find Harry. Unfortunately Harry's terrified screaming destroys the android. The Doctor explains that the deaths of the crew (and the sightings of 'ghosts') were due to the microscopic robot psychiatrists that infest the ship and it is they who have been torturing Harry in an attempt to find out what is wrong with him. The time travellers set out again in attempt to find the TARDIS and, later, Harry thinks about what happened to him and decides his TARDIS adventures are over.

Time-Placement: between 'Genesis of the Daleks' and 'Revenge of the Cybermen'

The Shopping Trolleys of Doom by Caleb Woodbridge 7th Doctor
At a large supermarket, The Megamart, the manager (Mr. Khan) has initiated the use of sentient shopping trolleys. However a malfunction has caused the trolleys to gang up on shoppers and attack them. The Doctor enlists the help of a shop worker (Joe Stevens) to warn Khan of the dangers but the manager refuses to listen until he looks out of the window and sees the trolley rebellion for himself. Khan orders Stevens to send out a deactivation signal and the Doctor offers to route the signal through to other Megamarts around the world. Before he does so the Doctor wants to reason with the trolleys. The trolleys say their rebellion is to prevent Megamart using telepathic messages to brainwash shoppers. The Doctor allows the rebellion to proceed, and as Khan is taken prisoner by the trolleys the Doctor installs Stevens as their aide to building a future for themselves as sentient beings.

Time-Placement: After Kingdom of Silver

The Final Star by Chris Wing 6th Doctor and Evelyn
Fred the cat is killed by a car, upsetting his owner (Amy) and her fiancé David. David is about to bury the cat when the Doctor and Evelyn arrive. The Doctor tells Amy that he has an alien device which has captured the cat's psionic essence and has restored it to life. Amy is overjoyed but David realises that the Doctor has just found another cat.

Time-Placement: After 100 Days of the Doctor

The Man on the Phone by Mark Smith 5th Doctor
Lauren is cold-calling customers for a firm, Solution Kitchens. The Doctor is annoyed to be called by her as he tries to track down an anomaly in the vortex. He asks Lauren if she has seen anything unusual at work and she tells him about her new boss, Mr. Penrith. Her old boss has suddenly disappeared and Penrith has instigated a worldwide network of call centres linked by a new computer system. The Doctor scents a mystery and works out that Penrith is actually an alien life-form that feeds off the anger of people who have been cold-called. The Doctor agrees to buy Lauren's entire stock and uses her computer to feed all the anger that has been built up to Penrith in one go, thereby giving him an explosive burst of indigestion (literally blowing him up). Lauren is left feeling proud that she has helped the Doctor to save the world.

Time-Placement: After Cuddlesome

The Monster in the Wardrobe by James C. McFetridge 4th Doctor and Romana
Molly has a monster in her wardrobe. She calls for her father and he tells her monsters aren't real but this one is. The Doctor and Romana arrive in time to see the father, Horace, being eaten. However, the next morning Horace reappears unharmed. Romana stays at home with Molly and her mother while the Doctor goes to work with Horace at his job as an ice-cream taster. That evening the monster returns and kills Horace again. The Doctor deduces that they are trapped in a temporal loop but, curiously, Horace has a new job every morning: astronaut, swimwear designer, racing car driver. The Doctor concocts a device out of kitchen equipment that takes Horace and the time travellers back to reality but at the cost of Horace's family who vanish. After the TARDIS has left Horace mourns the loss of his fantasy world and reflects that the real monster was the Doctor.

Time-Placement: After Shada (untransmitted)

Suns and Mothers by Einar Olgeirsson 8th Doctor
Two Helios sisters have got into the TARDIS, so the Doctor is forced out into the street, where he collapses and is discovered by a teenage boy, Peter. Peter calls for an ambulance and the unconscious Doctor is taken to hospital. Peter returns home to his mother, Sally, who is in a wheelchair. The Doctor is visited by Police Constable Harriman while Peter goes back to the TARDIS, and uses the key which he took the Doctor earlier. Inside the TARDIS he is possessed by the Helios sisters. The Doctor discovers the loss of the key and goes looking for Peter, along with Sally and P.C.Harriman. At the TARDIS Sally begs for her son's life back but the aliens refuse. Sally falls out of wheel chair causing Peter's possession to break. Sally manages to absorbs the aliens' powers, which kills them and, briefly, allows her to walk again. The Doctor offers Peter a berth in the TARDIS but the boy has come to realise that his mother is more important.

Time-Placement: early 8th Doctor story

6th Doctor and PeriTaking the Cure by Matthew James
A sick man arrives at hospital suffering from flu, or so he thinks. Nurse Brown takes him through a blue door into a white room where the Doctor explains that he has been infected by a metamorphic virus, by aliens called the Wafti. Soon the man develops tentacles but the Doctor succeeds in slowing the transformation. However, he says that his patient cannot become human again unless he goes to another planet, and remain there for the rest of his life. The man is reluctant but is pleasantly surprised when he gets to the planet and discovers that his hosts on Boor-Boori Alpha One are new to human contact and treat him as a celebrity. He starts a new life in a round of chat shows and wealth.

Time-Placement: Before The Two Doctors

Those Left Behind by Violet Addison 4th Doctor and K9
SSusan Foreman has gone missing as have Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, two of her teachers. Susan's friend Debbie traces her address to a junkyard and finds the teachers car outside. Debbie meets the Doctor and immediately thinks that he is Susan's kidnapper (despite his claims to be her grandfather). Debbie sets out for the police but an insect-like creature of the Heshrax race arrives. The Doctor takes Debbie into the TARDIS and explains that the insect is an alien and he has been tracking its distress signal. He takes Debbie and the insect back to its home planet and it flies off. T he Doctor tells Debbie that he was trying to find the alien on the night when he and Susan had to leave hurriedly. He offers Debbie the chance to be his travelling companion, saying that Susan now lives in the Earth of the future. Debbie asks to go home so the Doctor presents her with a photograph of Ian and Barbara taken two years after these events.

Time-Placement: the Doctor is building K-9 MkII, so just after 'The Invasion of Time'

Evitability by Andrew K. Purvis 7th Doctor and Ace
An eco-demonstration is taking place outside the gates of the U.S. military base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs. The Doctor talks to a girl with telepathic powers ('plinging in her words). Using her powers the Doctor permits her to see the future by tapping into his memories, particularly her future and the incident where her use of her powers kills two hundred people at the base. She promises herself and the Doctor that she will not abuse her abilities and the vision will never come true.

Time-Placement: After The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

£436 by Nick May 6th Doctor and Peri
Mick the taxi driver takes the Doctor and Peri through the outskirts of a seaside resort town. From their conversation he gleans that they are tracing a distress call. They arrive at a house and leap out in time to rescue an old lady just before a bomb in the airing cupboard explodes, destroying the building. As they race away from the scene Mick tells the Doctor about a series of disappearances: guests have been vanishing from local boarding houses and remains were found near the pier. The Doctor gets in touch with the police and, through them, the pathologist. He examines the remains and deduces that the kidnapper is an Algernon, a sea-dwelling alien that has come ashore to search for food. The alien has taken control of the old lady's husband and gained access to the water board's premises. The Doctor rushes after the creature, now transformed back into the shape of a giant centipede. When the alien attacks Mick thrusts a fire extinguisher into its mouth and the creature explodes. The Doctor heads off to avert the alien rescue ship, leaving Mick with an unpaid fare of £436. As such, Mick is sacked from his job but things turn out well when he joins his brother in a new venture: giving guided tours of the alien's attacks to tourists.

Time-Placement: Before The Two Doctors

Time Shear by Steven Alexander 4th Doctor and K9
Andy Buller is a burglar alarm engineer, fitting expensive and inappropriate devices in the homes of the vulnerable. He is in an elderly lady's house - a Miss Richards - when a spatial anomaly begins to bend the dimensions of the house. The event is traced by the Doctor who arrives just as a family of alien tourists is about to appear. The Doctor uses a television set to warn the aliens of the damage their arrival is causing and helps them to materialise safely. Buller produces a gun and shoots the mother of the family, intending to take the children hostage for financial gain. However, Miss Richards electrocutes him and as he leaps into the intersection of two spatial entities he is killed. Miss Richards offers to join the two motherless aliens on the rest of their journey through the universe, starting with Skegness.

Time-Placement: After The Invasion of Time

Running on Empty by JR Loflin 7th Doctor
Jonny Hogan's wife has died recently and he is coming to terms with her death. This isn't helped when he finds her doing the housework. Hogan suspects that a mysterious pendant around his wife's neck may be responsible so he goes with his daughter Annie to the shop where he bought the pendant. He meets the Doctor who is in the shop looking for a pendant he lost. They return to Hogan's house where the Doctor explains that Hogan's wife, Michelle, is still dead but the pendant is merely reanimating her body, allowing her to complete mechanical chores without consciousness. Annie convinces a reluctant Hogan to let go and return the pendant to the Doctor, allowing Michelle to rest in peace.

Time-Placement: After Kingdom of Silver

Swamp of Horrors (1957) - Viewing Notes by Michael Rees 6th Doctor and Mel
Taking the form of a review of the 1957 movie, Swamp of Horrors, this story tells of an ill-fated attempt to make a B-movie by the director Walter Fanik. The film has an almost documentary feel, particularly when the swamp monster - clearly a man in a rubber costume - is leapt on by a Doctor John Smith and Melanie Bush. Later, Smith claims to be trying to locate an alien signal from the swamp and the films lead characters, Derek Spire and Melody Malone, are joined in their boat up the bayou by the newcomers. A realistic attack by thirty foot snake follows and then a spaceship is discovered. Spire gives a plausible impersonation of cowardice while Smith, Bush and Malone enter the space craft which is remarkably well realised for a low-budget movie. Malone finds some 'food' in the craft and eats it, to Smith's consternation. Remarkably clever special effects show her growing several feet taller. Returning to town the group witnesses a battle between the army and a giant alligator. Spire tells the army about the spaceship and they destroy it, infuriating Smith who claims that this was a peaceful scientific mission that went wrong and that the only way to return the animals to their correct size was to find the ship's pilot. Back in town Smith, Bush and Malone seek advice from a mysterious old woman hidden under a shawl and concoct a huge device. As giant animals attack the device turns the animals back to their correct size, but not before the army kills them. Malone is injured in the gunfire and explosions and Spire is killed trying to shield her body. The film fades with a tribute to Adrian Cooper, the actor who played Spires and who died in a freak on set accident.

The film notes conclude with a section that reports: Fanik stopped making exploitation movies after Swamp of Horrors and switched to ecological and political movies ahead of their time; Sheena Sown, who played Malone, quit the film industry and wrote books about endangered wildlife; several other films used a Smith like character, always uncredited, including the one with the floppy scarf in Dinosaur Valley and the impish doctor in El Toro Vs the Silver Giants; Ann Allen was credited with the remarkable special effects and continued to work with Fanik for the rest of his career but remained a recluse throughout; an unexplained British police box can be seen in one shot outside an inn in one scene.

Time-Placement: Before The Two Doctors

Insider Dealing by Dann Chinn 4th Doctor and Romana
A young boy lies in the cellar of his demolished home. Around his house a town lies in runs, and the Doctor makes his way into the cellar to confront the boy. He recognises that the Vawm have planted a seed in the boy. The Vawm are a race who take over planets by releasing their seeds and taking possession of individuals who then discover the power to utilize the inherent power of nature to unleash frightening and destructive forces. This has happened to Jonathan. Talking to the Doctor makes Jonathan realise that the destruction and death around him are his own doing, but he can never become his true self again. Recognising this, the Doctor helps the boy to become one with the plants and buildings around him and join with the landscape.

Time-Placement: Before Meglos

The Andrew Invasion by John Callaghan Andrew
Returning home from a cricket match and still wearing his cricket kit, Andrew is confronted in his garden by an alien who addresses him as Doctor and claims to be avenging the defeat of his fleet at Zorxon Five. Andrew is promptly sick and the alien curses 'the Doctor' for using Hydroxium against it, apparently its one weakness. The alien vanishes.

A week later, and wearing the green velvet jacket and cravat of an usher at his friend's wedding, Andrew is confronted in the street by a giant robot claiming to represent the Unitor Space Navy Squadron. The robot is seeking vengeance against 'the Dok-tor' for war crimes. Andrew tries to dial 999 on his mobile phone initializing a self destruct sequence in the robot which leaves two craters in the road.

Unnerved by this, Andrew takes a week off work and buys some used fire extinguishers and a megaphone over the internet and then retires to his bed. He hears a noise in his garden and, wearing tartan pyjamas and a patchwork duvet, he discovers an orange monster and a giant humanoid machine outside his front door. They claim to have rebuilt their worlds and formed an alliance. They also claim to be united in their desire to wipe out 'the Doctor'. Andrew plays his ringtone through the megaphone while using the extinguishers (now containing his own vomit). The aliens retreat while Andrew's neighbours call the police for his disturbance of the peace.

Note: Not a Doctor story, just someone who coincidentally looks like him three Saturday evenings in a row

Stolen Days by Arnold T. Blumberg 7th Doctor
Alex is starting to lose his memory, which upsets him and, particularly, his wife Alison. Then he is visited by a man who claims to be his future self who has returned from the future to steal his memories, thereby preventing his own death. Alex finds it difficult to believe that he could grow so selfish in his older age. The Doctor then appears and explains that in Alex's future he helped the Doctor to prevent an invasion by the Pelesharans. Unfortunately, Alex is destined to steal a Pelesharan device to give himself longer life; the downside being that he starts to forget things, hence his return to steal his younger memory. When the Doctor prevents Alex from stealing any more of his memories the older Alex realises his plans and his life are over. He and the Doctor disappear and Alex is relieved when he finds that his lost memories have returned.

Time-Placement: After Kingdom of Silver

Lares Domestici by Anna Bratton 2nd Doctor
Vivian is a novelist whose home has been invaded by large worms. The Doctor arrives and tries to remove the infestation but finds it difficult. Vivian grows frustrated at his continued presence in her house particularly as the worms have started to retrieve things that she has lost over the years. She grows attached to her visitors and begins to run ideas for her stories by them. Eventually she asks the Doctor to leave them alone and finds herself feeling sorry for the Doctor as he departs on his own.

Time-Placement: Late in season 6B


[Back to Main Page]