Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury
Short Trips: A Christmas Treasury is the eleventh Short Trips anthology published by Big Finish Productions. The theme is, of course, Christmas. As if to signify that Christmas themed collections would become an annual event until Big Finish lost their short story license the anthology contains the kind of non-story content you would expect in an Annual.
There are four poems:
- In the TARDIS: Christmas Day by Val Douglas - a parody of In the Workhouse: Christmas Day featuring the fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan
- .The Eight Doctors of Christmas by Matthew Griffiths - a parody of The Twelve Days of Christmas retelling some televised stories
- On Being Five by Jo Fletcher - the story of a five-year-old Doctor Who fan. It is a parody of an existing poem.
- The Feast of Seven... Eight (and Nine) by Vanessa Bishop - the first Doctor throws a Christmas party for his future incarnations.
There are four recipes written by Paul Condon, each with an introduction from an established character. They are:
- Beep the Meep's Grundian Egg Nog (Beep the Meep - first seen inthe DWM strip The Star Beast)
- The Brig's Brandy Butter (the Brigadier)
- Camilla's O-Negative Mulled Wine (Camilla from State of Decay)
- Mrs Baddeley's Mini Christmas Pudding Truffles (Mrs Baddesley from The Chimes of Midnight)
There are also two games.
- Lawrence Miles' The Game of Rassilon- a "Weetabix compatible" board game you can make
- Jim Sangster's Animus, Zarbi, Menoptra - a variant on Rock-Paper-Scissors.
This guide does not cover the poems, recipes, or games. The story A Yuletide Tale is presented in two parts, but we are covering it as a single story.
Roots: Sapphire and Steel 'Adventure Two' (a ghost that remains due to its resentment at its death).
Dialogue Triumphs: "The very worst people are the ones who say that Christmas is a time for something. It's all about family or kindness or forgiveness. Or not being so stupid and obnoxious. Just the things they should be doing all year anyway!"
Continuity: It isn't explained who built the chapel uncovered by shelling in No Man's Land, but the Doctor claims that it has existed for nearly one thousand years. It contains a spring producing the elixir that allows Smith to survive his own death as an invisible ghost.
The Doctor is wearing his linen suit here and dons a Santa Claus hat for the occasion. He again uses the alias Smith.
Location: France, during World War One; London, England, 24th December [c2005].
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has met Samarjit at the pub on Christmas Eve every year for over ninety years; only nine weeks have elapsed for the Doctor during this period, during which he foiled an invasion attempt.
UNIT Christmas Parties: First Christmas
Roots: The Doctor buys Brut champagne for the party, and provides music by the Beatles and the Beach Boys.
Goofs: If Benton knows Zbregniev in 1969, he must be a lot older than he looks in Battlefield.
Continuity: The ship that is approaching Earth is a Bathesdan derelict. The Doctor intends to return it to Bathesda.
The Doctor has a pigeonhole at UNIT HQ but considers himself too important to ever bother checking it. The Doctor drinks whiskey with the Brigadier.
The Doctor provides music for the party that includes the Agoran opera "The March of the Cyborgs" (Killing Ground) and John Smith and the Common Men (An Unearthly Child). He serves Venusian bra'tek'h and notes that Osirian curry is best served close to absolute zero (Pyramids of Mars).
Liz gets to see sunrise from space whilst on board the Bathesda derelict.
Location: UNIT HQ, England, and a Bathesda ship approaching Earth, 24th December .
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor gives Liz a dress that he claims once belonged to Cleopatra.
Roots: The real-life tragedy at Tangiwai.
Goofs: Matiu's means of travelling back in time is so maddeningly vague as to suggest that Adamson can't think of a convincing explanation for it himself.
Continuity: The Doctor is wearing his predominantly blue frock coat (Real Time).
Location: Tangiwai, Auckland, 24th to 25th December 1953; Auckland, December 2004.
A Yuletide Tail
Roots: The works of Charles Dickens, obviously, especially A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist. There is a reference to Droopy.
Continuity: The Slaargs built Dickensworld as a theme park, and populated it with cloned humans. They decide to destroy it, but the Doctor releases mutagen-spores that are lethal to them in order to force them to leave the inhabitants alone.
The Doctor keeps fish in his pocket.
Location: Dickensworld, date unknown
Roots: There are references to FCUK, Coca cola, and Tesco.
Continuity: The power that Melissa is channelling is a sprite trapped on Earth hundreds of years earlier.
Location: WendiWorld, England, 25th June, [the near future, based on the size of WendiWorld and the cost of the doll's house].
Roots: The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special. There are references to This is Your Life, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Disney Time, Selina Scott, Des Lynam, "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing", Mrs. Thatcher, David and Richard Attenborough, Carol Vorderman, Nigella Lawson, Trinny and Susannah, Bruce Forsyth, Fred Astaire, Fonteyn, Pan's People, Scooby Doo, Buck Rogers, Metal Mickey, and Coronation Street.
Dialogue Triumphs: "No. I'm sorry. You're sending it up. Science fiction is serious stuff. It has to be played straight."
Continuity: The Doctor has seen the TV in the antiques shop near Shepherd's Bush numerous times over the years, before he is encouraged to buy it. He has an elaborate dream which might be directly caused by the television set. He keeps a rubber plant in the console room. He keeps a secret tin of Mrs. Beeton's home-made mince pies in the stasis cabinet in the TARDIS pantry.
Location: Shepherd's Bush, London, date unknown; the TARDIS.
Unrecorded Adventures: Immediately prior to this story, the Doctor defeats the fiery Ordrulfi, leaving a new volcano on Ealing Common in the process.
Never Seen Cairo
Continuity: The Fifth Doctor dons khaki trousers and an off-white shirt. He describes Cairo as one of the few places on Earth where he feels a genuine sense of awe.
Location: No Man's Land, France, 25th December 1914.
The Man Who (Nearly) Killed Christmas
Roots: There is a reference to the Doctor's meeting with Santa Claus in the TV Comic Dr Who comic strip "A Christmas Story". John and Gillian are also mentioned.
Continuity: The Second Doctor is persuaded to tell a story to the school children by a Miss Wright, presumably Barbara.
Location: England, date unknown.
Last Minute Shopping
Roots: There are references to Selfridges, "Good King Wenceslas", 1984, Scalextric, Michael Moore's Stupid White Men, A Christmas Carol, Einstein, and eBay. The Plaine Man's Pathway to Heaven by Arthur Dent is a reference to The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Goofs: Tegan seems remarkably at ease with the circumstances surrounding Adric's death.
Continuity: Turlough drinks a Bacardi Breezer.
Location: London, 24th December during the early twenty-first century.
Roots: Groundhog Day. There are references to Princess Diana, Tarzan, The Great Escape, and Monopoly.
Continuity: It isn't explicitly stated what is happening here, but the Doctor hypothesizes that they have materialized inside the dimension of one man's mind [which would explain the speed with which he leaps to a similar seemingly bizarre conclusion in The Chase].
Barbara gives Vicki a mint out of her pocket. Barbara has an Aunt Gertrude who owns a Mynah bird. Barbara helps prepare Christmas dinner with Patricia. The TARDIS crew eats numerous Christmas dinners whilst trapped, and drinks copious wine and port.
Location: London, England, 24th December 2004 (see above).
The Little Things
Roots: There is a reference to W.H. Smith's.
Continuity: The Doctor has a pixel-enhancing scanner for examining photographs. He has a chrono-historical stress gauge that he bought at a galactic car boot sale.
The TARDIS Shell Room is where its outer plasmic shells are stored whenever it changes shape. It creates a new shell whenever there is no existing shell suitable. Shells in the Shell Room of the Doctor's TARDIS include a giant seashell, a wooden pavilion, a corrugated iron hut, a saucer-shaped tank based on a design by da Vinci, a large rock, a marble summerhouse, a Punch and Judy kiosk, and an Atlantean bathing machine. It has been creating new shells every time it has materialized since the Chameleon Circuit broke in Totters Lane (An Unearthly Child) but has been unable to actually use them. These shells include a matchbox (Planet of Giants), a computer bank (The Sensorites), a huge Aztec vase (The Aztecs), a frosted glass pyramid (The Keys of Marinus), a Chinese tent (Marco Polo), a petrified tree (The Daleks) and a non-petrified tree (An Unearthly Child).
The unnamed planet has a green-and-purple moon and is inhabited by large creatures resembling hermit crabs.
Location: An unnamed planet, date unknown; St. Albans, England, 16th December 1996 and 17th December 1997.
Future History: Helen Thompson cures lots of childhood diseases, for which she wins an Outstanding Citizen Award in 2023.
Unrecorded Adventures: Shortly before arriving in Totter's Lane, the Doctor and Susan traveled to England in December 1996, where the TARDIS disguised itself as a pillar-box.
UNIT Christmas Parties: Christmas Truce
Goofs: The Master is still trapped on Earth, setting this story between Terror of the Autons and The Mind of Evil, which conflicts with the dating established in The Discontinuity Guide and adopted here (Terror of the Autons takes place during late summer 1970, and The Mind of Evil in autumn; obviously, this story takes place in December).
Continuity: The Master impersonates Doctor Aloysius Fischer to gain entry to the UNIT Christmas party. He drinks champagne with the Doctor. He currently uses a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce Silver Shadow [possibly his TARDIS]. He plants several miniaturized microphones and cameras in UNIT HQ, as well as several thermonuclear devices.
The Doctor is repairing a component of the TARDIS' Time Vector Generator (The Wheel in Space).
One of Benton's girlfriends left him at a Christmas party.
As a child, Mike wanted a bike one Christmas, but got a copy of The Children's Encyclopaedia instead. Mike was planning a candlelit dinner with a young woman in Soho before the Brigadier ordered him to attend the party.
Location: UNIT HQ, England, December .
Unrecorded Adventures: The Master picked a fight with six drunken Shobogans in the Golden Grackle one night whilst drinking there with the Doctor.
The Clanging Chimes of Doom
Roots: Band Aid. The Terminator films.
Continuity: Frentos is located in the fourteenth galaxy. The people of Frentos have time travel capability.
The Doctor has a leather-bound autograph book in his pocket, which he decides to start using. He owns a Pakafroon Wabster's Broken Soul Gang Orchestra album.
Romana is wearing a red-piped velvet jacket.
K9 has a pop fact data bank, since the Doctor likes him to set quizzes.
The Doctor has plugged the chrono-historical stress gauge into the TARDIS console (The Little Things).
There is a top twenty music chart on Gallifrey.
Location: The spacecraft Valentine, approaching Earth, 2034; Notting Hill Gate, London, 1984.
Future History: Prince Tarvick of Frentos is overthrown in 2034 following the republican uprising. Following a royalist revolution in 2114, a group of soldiers travel to Earth in 1984 to rescue Tarvick and restore him to his throne; in 2134 there is another revolution that removes the royalists from power and soldiers from this time travel back to stop the previous group rescuing Tarvick. In 2194 there is an uprising against the second republic and more soldiers travel back to prevent the assassination of Tarvick. More soldiers travel back to find him from 2292, followed by more from 2391 after the fall of the glorious third republic. The Doctor eventually leaves Tarvick in a period of Frentos' history where nobody has heard of him.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has just saved eleven planets and two space stations. He has met Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare (see City of Death), Toulouse Lautrec, Oliver Cromwell, Anne Boleyn, and Pliny the Elder.
Roots: Sapphire and Steel 'Adventure Two' (a ghost consumed with resentment over its death).
Continuity: Had Klaus lived, he would have traveled with the Seventh Doctor, encountering the ravenous alien Stalkers, an alien planet where a collapsing civilization was overwhelmed by cataclysmic floods, and encountering an aggressive plant species [possibly a Krynoid based on the description (The Seeds of Doom]. Klaus' last adventure with the Doctor would have seen him free a slave colony. The Doctor gives Klaus' ghost his memories of these events, allowing him to find peace.
Location: Betton Court, 24th to 25th December during the first decade of the twentieth century.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor visited Betton Court during the first decade of the nineteenth century, when he fought an alien entity that was seeking to conquer Earth. Klaus, a footman in service to the Montague family, helped the Doctor defeat the entity, giving his life in the process.
The Doctor has recently encountered the Stalkers, faced floods on the alien world, fought a hostile plant species, and freed a slave colony (see above).
Continuity: The Great Crystal Choir Crown of Pseudolonica VII holds all the spiritual wisdom of the ancient Maargan Heirocrats woven into its ever-evolving lattice. The Doctor teaches it Venusian power ballads and drinking songs.
The Doctor gives K9 an old biscuit for Christmas, having programmed him to appreciate old biscuits. The Doctor is very fond of an English rose garden from 1913 (The Five Doctors).
The TARDIS apparently contains storerooms over-flowing with treasures from "a million worlds." There is a shield with blood and snake venom on it sat in a wall roundel in the console room.
Location: The TARDIS.
Future History: The Doctor borrows the Great Crystal Choir Crown of Pseudolonica VII during a two-day period in the forty-ninth century when it isn't being worn by a High Sanctogull Minister.
Goodwill Toward Men
Roots: There are references to Woolworth's and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dialogue Triumphs: "There's muggers and rapists and all sorts of who-knows-what, but when it comes right down to it, there's just people. Without 'em, it's just empty space, isn't it?"
Continuity: The Doctor tells Donna that the three of them are English to avoid awkward explanations. His pockets contain a button, a thimble, and some silver-coloured coins.
Location: Los Angeles, 24th December, late twentieth century.
Unrecorded Adventures: The TARDIS has just left a squalid, lawless colony in the Acteon Galaxy, where the crew was separated and locked up.
It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow
Roots: There are references to "Silent Night", Jane Russell, and Harpo Marx, Lon Chaney.
Dialogue Triumphs: Charlesworth on the Doctor: "I've never met anyone so English, going on about tea!"
Location: Charnage House, England, 24th December 1940.
All Our Christmases
Roots: The programme that Richard tries to improve is of course Doctor Who. The programme that he ends up watching when he accidentally ends the series after only a short time is probably Juliet Bravo (see Deadline). The publishing house that some fans want to burn down before it produces a range of spin-off novels is Virgin, and the TV executive that some extreme fans want to assassinate is presumably Michael Grade.
Dialogue Triumphs: "They were even talking about bringing it back, because it was still so... I mean, everybody remembered it. Everybody."
"Then I would hardly call that trivial."
Location: A lodge [probably in England], Christmas Eve [the future, since time travel technology is available to Richard].
Continuity: Sarah dyes her hair. She lives in a quiet English village. She has a granddaughter, Lily, the daughter of Lauren and Will. Lily has Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which places enormous strain on her parents' marriage.
Location: England, the early twenty-first century.
Roots: There are references to "Twist and Shout", Only Fools and Horses, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", and Prince's "1999". The Tovey system is probably named after Roberta Tovey.
Dialogue Disasters: "Have you ever heard the expression: too many masterbakers spoil the Slarvian broth?"
Continuity: The Doctor gives Braxiatel a pair of garish socks for Christmas, and signs his card "Theta" (The Armageddon Factor). The Doctor didn't hear about the Fifth Axis and the Daleks until after they had been defeated.
Bernice drinks eggnog latte.
Braxiatel owns a Huldran table (Project: Lazarus). He keeps a decanter of Prydonian.
The Braxiatel Collection has a new gardener, a Martian named Hass. Braxiatel organizes a Christmas party every year, which Bernice considers to be a tacky PR stunt. A choir from the Tovey system visits the Collection. Mr. Crofton once cultivated a Krynoid (The Seeds of Doom) and entered it into the Altair in Bloom festival.
Professor Yakkle's people celebrate Wastletide.
Location: The Braxiatel Collection, 24th December, c. 2600AD.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor knew Mr. Crofton.
UNIT Christmas Parties: Ships That Pass
Goofs: This story must be set after Terror of the Zygons, but Benton is still referred to as Sergeant Benton, rather than RSM.
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor's warning to Brac: "Brac, this is Christmas Day! You should see what this lot do at this time of year to yule logs. The glorious death isn't so bad, it's the autopsy that follows, all those nights in the fridge, slowly being whittled down, slowly giving up all your secrets. Do we understand each other, Brac? Or do I smell custard?"
Continuity: Voddods are humanoid plants that fight for the glory of the Voddod Conjunction. Their living ships can be genetically coded to respond only to their pilots. Voddods have dark red bark armour and carry spearbranches.
The Doctor drinks ginger ale (The Android Invasion). He is familiar with Voddods.
When Sarah was nine the boy next door stole her tape recorder and threw it down a manhole. She punched him on the nose and kidnapped his Action Man in return, for which she got sent to her room without Christmas dinner.
When Harry was twelve his best friend got a racing bike for Christmas; he was killed by a car whilst riding over to Harry's house. Harry spent New Year's Eve at the funeral.
Location: UNIT HQ, England, [December 1973].