More Short Trips
More Short Trips is the second short story published by BBC Books. Its official theme was that the stories were "of differing degrees of shortness".
Two of the stories in the collection had previously been made available as audio books. Sixth Doctor story Moon Graffiti was part of the Out of the Darkness collection, read by Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, whilst eighth Doctor story Dead Time was released as part of Earth and Beyond, read by Paul McGann.
Continuity: The Eighth spends five months in Spain, near Machico and Funchal, in order to come to terms with his regeneration. The Seventh Doctor, who criticizes him for wasting time and shirking his responsibilities, visits him.
Location: Spain, during the early twentieth century.
Continuity: Following the events of The Invasion, a cyber infiltration unit was left on Earth to gather information to plan for a further invasion (The Doctor inadvertently reveals the necessary conditions for a successful invasion of Earth). It kidnapped people and implanted them with surveillance devices to act as its eyes and ears.
At some point the Cybermen invaded Thera Secaul, a desert planet with eight moons. They were driven from Planet 14 when the planet's own power was used again them, resulting in a catastrophic explosion [possibly involving the Second Doctor and Jamie - see The Invasion]. These Cybermen are impervious to gold, following system upgrades [there is perhaps an unseen adventure, since the Brigadier knows of the Cybermens' weakness to gold in Battlefield].
The Second Doctor aids Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and UNIT in a campaign of misinformation by acting as scientific advisor to a film crew making a film based on the cyber invasion (The Invasion). The Brigadier is by now used to meeting different incarnations of the Doctor, and references to "back then" imply that this is set during the 1990s, probably after the events of Mawdryn Undead. The Doctor claims that he has had numerous operations.
Location: London, the 1990s.
Missing, Part One: Business as Usual
Continuity: This story serves an epilogue to Business Unusual, Mel returning home to her parents after returning to Earth [she is returned to 1991 by Ace, following the events of Head Games]. It is chronologically set two years after that story, although subjectively Mel left several years ago. Mel's birthday is on July 22nd, her father's on July 24th. She sent postcards to her parents whenever she and the Doctor visited Earth between 1989 and the end of the century.
Location: Sally's café, Edward Street, Brighton, July 23rd 1991.
Unrecorded Adventures: Mel and the Doctor encountered creatures called Stalagtrons in New York in 1990 (see also Millennial Rites and The Quantum Archangel).
Dialogue Triumphs: The Doctor: 'The wearing of hats is one of the quintessential, landmark factors denoting abstract thought, and an intelligent adaptation to one's environment. Any animal can take shelter from the elements operating purely on instinct - it takes a greater, and quite specific degree of mental sophistication and conceptualization to hit upon the idea of carrying said shelter around. Additionally, a good hat provides a vast repository of additional information from which one can infer anything from the wearer's place in the social pecking order to the state of his or her entire culture. It's no accident that that those from a decadent culture or a culture in decline can be spotted by their increasingly ludicrous and complicated hats.'
Continuity: Pararachnids are space-borne swarming arthropods that invaded Earth whilst it was largely abandoned (the population left there numbered millions, rather than billions). The swarm that attacked Earth was seventy or eighty billion strong (a small swarm according to the Doctor). They are intelligent and carnivorous and mark their territory by laying waste to it and piling the wreckage into vast piles, thus rendering planets uninhabitable not only for the indigenous population, but also for themselves, which forces them to move on. As part of this territorial behaviour, they carved graffiti across the surface of the Moon. They left their weak and sick on Earth, where they formed colonies and fed off the remaining humans. They can survive without food for centuries. A colony of humans survived underground in a grotesque form of suspended animation known as "the line", in which the metabolism is slowed, but minimal movement is maintained to prevent atrophy of the muscles. They built the robot Monitors to protect them until they were awakened.
Minkowski space is the name given to the four physical dimensions [The Higher Place] in addition to which there are six other dimensions [making a total of ten, which contradicts The Quantum Archangel, in which there are said to be eleven - Stone is counting space and time as one dimension]. The extra six [Calabi-Yau space] exist as an anomaly the size of a proton, until the Big Crunch, when they will reunite with the other four. Gnab Gib (Big Bang spelt backwards) is another name for the Big Crunch, at least according to the Doctor. He borrows the anomaly off the Wibliwee for twenty minutes and uses it as a measure for recalibrating the TARDIS.
The Doctor carries a battered livre de poche, in which he writes notes in every incarnation, since he forgets things when he regenerates [he comments that "it's not as if we're exactly the same persons, after all"]. In addition to notes on the location of the six-dimensional anomaly, the book contains notes on the location of the Hand of Omega (Remembrance of the Daleks), a street map of Ultima Thule, the co-ordinates of El Dorado, notes on the Seven Crested Spires of Praxos XIV, notes on Sidcup, and the location of the Lost Constellations of the Cool Star Furies.
The TARDIS was badly damaged by the Doctor's tinkering straight after his regeneration. He mentions that obtaining Zeiton-7 from Varos only solved part of the problem [placing this story after Vengeance on Varos]. The TARDIS beacon lights up if the ship is occupied.
Peri was once mugged at knifepoint outside her collage dorm.
The Wibliwee are a highly advanced race of intelligent bacteria, whose tiny spacecraft crashed on Earth. Their spacecraft is powered by the anomaly.
Location: Earth, "several tens of thousands years" after the twentieth century.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor again mentions that he knew Harry Houdini (Planet of the Spiders).
One Bad Apple
Dialogue Triumphs: 'All trees bear fruit. All fruit is knowledge. But some knowledge is poison.'
Continuity: 96.25% of the surface of Paradise is covered by water. Densely rain forested tropical islands cover the rest. The highest point above sea level is half-a-mile high. The massive trees on the coastlines lean over to from domes that extend two hundred meters from the shore. The planet's gravity is greater than that of Earth. The P'tarr inhabit Paradise: they are large, armoured, intelligent creatures with heavy tails, which dwell in a city that stretches over a small chain of islands. The TARDIS's telepathic circuits cannot translate their language, which the Doctor hypothesizes is due to its difficult pronunciation. They gain knowledge from coded RNA programs in the local vegetation, which they eat as their needs dictate. Leela eats the kess'tak, which enables her to understand the language of the P'tarr, and the P'tarr eat tik'ssotar berries to gain warrior skills.
The Cybermen used Paradise as a base for a while, until the P'tarr destroyed them. They left an abandoned Cyberbase on the planet and a wrecked Cyberfrigate in orbit. The Doctor quips that a little gilt comes in handy when dealing with Cybermen, which is a reference to their weakness to gold (Revenge of the Cybermen). The Mithran Fusiliers are a religious sect of mercenaries who have undergone partial cyber-conversion. They believe that humans and Cybermen should be united, since their home planets (Earth and Mondas) were once sisters.
Location: Paradise, sometime during the Cyber Wars.
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor has played Hamlet and Henry V. He has taught Leela about Hannibal.
64 Carlysle Street
Continuity: The Planet Quinnis is inhabited by humanoids and their symbionts, which appear to be small and shapeless. The two seen here are criminals from the prison on Ronnos, Quinnis's moon, and they left the Fourth Universe by following the TARDIS's wake. The TARDIS automatically seals the breach it creates when it enters or exits the time vortex, even traveling to other dimensions. However, the entry of Roztoq and his symbiont into our universe left an unsealed breach and the damage risks destabilizing the fabric of reality. The Doctor says that he can reseal the breach, but he must return Roztoq and his symbiont in order to do so.
Location: The Little Sisters of Marcham Common's Home For the Mentally Unstable, c1909
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor claims to have worked alongside Mark Twain and Jules Verne.
The Eternity Contract
Roots: Frankenstein is mentioned.
Continuity: There were no horror movies on Traken - Tegan explained the genre to Nyssa, who was repelled by the notion. The Doctor says that he can't operate without logic and is thus unnerved by the impossible or irrational. His nightmares in the house take place in a bus station (see Ghost Light).
Carnon (who is presumably human, given the imagery in the mansion) makes a bargain with Death that grants him immortality and allows him to take six souls from humans at the point of death and bring them to his [extra-dimensional] mansion. If more than six souls are present, under the conditions of the bargain, the extra souls are repelled by the mansion. He is powerful enough to interfere with the TARDIS and bring it into the mansion. The Doctor speculates that he is a powerful telepath and scoffs at the notion of a personification of Death [see Love and War and No Future however. Although the Doctor is unaware of it at this stage, Death is one of the higher Eternals, suggesting that Carson's deal with Death was just that and that he was empowered by her. This implies that he is not, despite the Doctor's hypothesis, a telepath].
Location: Carson's extra-dimensional mansion construct, 1999.
The Sow in Rut
Roots: There is a reference to Sarah's advert in Time Out, which enabled her to meet other companions of the Doctor, in Perry and Tucker's short story 'Girls' Night In' from the 1992 Doctor Who Magazine Holiday Special.
Continuity: Brendon has been learning how to use K-9's operating system, and has installed into him Sarah's word processor. He has also transferred her CD collection into K-9's memory, which includes Rachmaninov's "Isle of the Dead" and music by the Spice Girls. K-9 has a multi-species dictionary. Brendon has been running computer games in him, since he is faster than any available computer.
Cornfield Cottage was once a pub called the Sow in Rut. According to local legend, the owners used to abduct and murder travelers, serving them up in the place of their locally famous pig products - supposedly, the pigs told them to do it.
The entity's nature or origin is not revealed, but it presumably possessed the pigs in the past and manages to possess K-9 (it probes K-9's memory and discovers that it will manage to resurrect itself at some point, so this may be something that the Doctor encountered). Since its aim is resurrection, it may have had corporeal form at some point.
Location: Cornfield Cottage and the Red Lion Hotel, the Lake District, September [c199?].
Continuity: The Doctor carries his [new] sonic screwdriver and a yo-yo. His ability to rapidly heal wounds is seen.
Lightwanderers are creatures that dwell in the depths of empty space and feed on traces of solar energy. They are crystalline, at least for part of their lives (the Doctor notes that they have a "crystalline phase"). A crystalline Lightwanderer crashed on Earth, and was found by the Nazis. The Nazis use part of the Lightwanderer to create a weapon that generates an exclusion barrier around its target, through which nothing can pass including light and air. The Doctor says that passing large amounts of energy through it will cause it warp space around it, turning it into a killer that could destroy the planet.
Location: The village of Pax Lucis, England, July 1944.
Continuity: The Doctor has upgraded UNIT's surveillance systems, making them more difficult to evade. Bach is mentioned.
Following the events of Day of the Daleks, two guerilla fighters remained in the twentieth century. Due to the eradication of their home timeline, they are paradoxes and are slowly degenerating. In order to survive, they use their captured Dalek time travel machines to go back in time short distances and save people who have died, in exchange for money. Time reacts badly to these paradoxes, and is slowly erasing them in order to return history to its natural course (hence when Bernard Forbes death is averted, he becomes brain-dead for no apparent physical reason, and hence the slow physical decay of Krashen). When Jo and Tuala travel several minutes through time and almost meet themselves they start to feel the same effects as the Brigadier did in Mawdryn Undead [the Blinovitch limitation effect].
Location: London, December .
Continuity: A Lucrece shift is a phenomenon that can affect the TARDIS. The Doctor tells Sam that children in nursery on Gallifrey know that nothing exists in the interstellar void. When the Doctor was young on Gallifrey, he saw several magnificent ceremonious funerals, in which many Gallifreyan flowers of remembrance were used (see The Ancestor Cell).
The Forgotten were a group of Time Lords who whilst working on the neural mechanics of the Matrix discovered that by converting themselves to aggressive electrochemical impulses, they could travel back in time through the mind of another Time Lord, following his personal time stream backwards. From this host, they could then leap back further by jumping from him in the past into a different, older host, and following his time stream back through history, and then entering another host further back in the past, ad infinitum. They are able to do this due to a quirk of the Rassilon imprimatur, but they became trapped in the past with no way back. An additional side-effect of this, is that when they leave the host, they cause his timeline to unwind, erasing him from history; after moving through several hosts, killing them indiscriminately as they went, they eventually entered the mind of an early Time Lord who had a seizure whilst reconnoitring the uncharted depths of space. The Time Lord was severely brain-damaged and comatose and the Forgotten went mad with him. His TARDIS remained trapped in the void, and becoming warped and corrupted due to the externalization of the Forgotten's madness via the telepathic circuits. The Forgotten manage to leap into the Doctor's mind, but as they travel back through his timeline, he manages to trap them in the part of his mind that dies whenever he regenerates, specifically during his first regeneration. This causes the ancient Time Lord's timeline to unravel, erasing the derelict TARDIS and freeing the Doctor and Sam. The possession of the Doctor by the Forgotten generates a timeline in which his future self comes back to warn him about the Forgotten, but this is also presumably erased.
Early TARDISes had defence mechanisms including a temporal stasis field to trap intruders (the Doctor noting that the Time Lords were a "more paranoid race back then").
Location: A derelict, wrecked TARDIS, in the interstellar void, simultaneously in several time zones over thousands of years.
Goofs: This story is set between the TARDIS materializing at the start of The Romans and the group arriving at the villa, which contradicts the subsequently published Byzantium! [Byzantium! takes place first, although the join is not seamless].
Continuity: There doesn't appear to be any way of keeping the interior of the ship steady even if the outside is not [this has changed by Time-Flight]. The TARDIS crew is asked to look after the villa by Lucius (who was appointed to watch over it by his master) after a lion mortally wounds him and they try to help him.
Ian was once in love with a woman named Suzy, who was killed in a car-crash. He finally admits that he loves Barbara, although he thinks she's asleep at the time and doesn't know that she hears him.
Location: Italy, March 64AD.
Return of the Spiders
Dialogue Triumphs: 'I've never been at all keen on suburbs, wherever in the universe they are.'
'The true tragedy of suburbia, Romana, is that nothing is going on behind the net curtains.'
'I know an awful lot about an awful lot of things.'
Continuity: As in The Eight Doctors, some of the spiders from Planet of the Spiders are shown to have survived the death of the Great One - three of them have traveled to Earth to colonize it, including a new Queen. The Queen, like the Great One, is much larger than the other spiders, although this may be because she is pregnant. They arrive in High Wycombe because a ley line runs through it and they were drawn to this. After the death of the Queen, the Doctor takes the other two spiders to Arachnos, a planet inhabited by giant spiders (which the Doctor describes as "pleasant chaps") and giant flies.
Gallifreyan currency is measured in pounds. The Doctor carries a drawstring bag of gold coins, which he uses to pay for the pizzas. He states that he had an auntie who was a keen home-brewer.
K-9 has fear circuits [a self-defence measure perhaps?].
The Time Lords destroyed all known sources of fluon radiation, except for the crystals on Metebelis 3.
Location: High Wycombe, September [1990s].
Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor met J. P. R. Williams, who taught him how to tackle.
Continuity: Peri has read the works of H. G. Wells (see Timelash). The Doctor arranges by telephone for a UNIT clean-up squad to remove the remains of the Ventrosians.
The Ventrosians are from Ventros Prime. Some of them worship a jewel called the Eye of Gaar, which is housed in the Temple of Gaar. The Doctor notes that they have a superiority complex, because of which the Time Lords refused to share their technology with them "millennia ago". They are slender, worm-like creatures that use humanoid-shaped life-support units on Earth; these cloaked forms hover can above the ground and the Ventrosians equip them with wand-like energy weapons. In their natural state, they have a very volatile body chemistry in order to compensate for the extreme cold of Ventros Prime. A Ventrosian thief stole the Eye of Gaar and brought it to Earth, only to be pursued by the Priests of Gaar. The Eye is a chunk of ammonia and methane ice, and boils away to nothing when exposed to Earth's atmosphere by a petty thief.
Location: Surbiton, the 1990s.
Continuity: There is a double-glazing salesman in the Vortex. His origin is not revealed, although he can survive in the Vortex and can penetrate the TARDIS uninvited via his umbrella. The windows that he sells can show any view that the owner desires [and possibly functions in a similar way to the TARDIS scanner]. The Second Doctor agrees to let him install a mock Georgian Bay window in the TARDIS, which shows him a view of [Lungbarrow Mountain on] Gallifrey. The Doctor used to sit and look at the view whenever he felt homesick, but eventually realized that he could never recapture his childhood and kept the room locked up. After Ace rediscovers it, the Seventh Doctor decides to permanently seal the room [presumably using the architectural configuration circuits]. The window has a lifetime guarantee and is indestructible.
The planet Mitak is famous for the Virgo Mountains.
Location: The TARDIS, travelling through the Vortex.
Roots: There are references to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and The Good Companions by J. B. Priestly.
Continuity: After leaving the Doctor, Tegan lived for many years in London, and married, becoming Tegan Haybourne. Her husband, William, was a Head of Department at St. Cedd's college, Cambridge, and is now deceased. After Resurrection of the Daleks, Tegan was disturbed by her experiences with the Doctor and sought help; when the authorities realized that she knew about certain events that she shouldn't, they decided to convince her that she had imagined all of her travels and put her in Shawlands convalescent home. She saw Theatre of the Absurd performed whilst at school. She doesn't recognize the future Doctor.
The Doctor wears a mustard-yellow knitted waistcoat, two bracelets, and an Afghan coat. It is not specified which incarnation this is. He still uses the alias Dr Smith. Anna, his companion, is from the north of England. The chameleon circuit has apparently been repaired, since the TARDIS disguises itself as a house [unless this is a new TARDIS].
The Sigrarnons create short cuts in time, and trade in paradoxes.
Location: London, c2040.
Future History: Tegan wrote a short story entitled "Good Companions", which appeared in Womanuscripts: 21st Century Female Fiction, published in 2041
Missing, Part Two: Message in a Bottle
Continuity: As she promised when she left the Doctor, Mel placed a message in a bottle and threw it into space (Dragonfire); however, it never reaches the Doctor. After drifting for millennia, it is caught in the pull of a black hole.
Location: Empty space, in the pull of a black hole, the far distant future.
Roots: There are references to Ulysses, Lolita and Tropic of Cancer.
Continuity: The Doctor, Sam and Iris are present at the shooting of Andy Warhol by Valerie Solanis. Iris's book, Wildthyme: Confessions of a Time Lady, is published by Olympia Press in Paris and is supposedly a collaborative time travel book co-authored by the Marquis de Sade, Gustave Flaubert and Gertrude Stein. It contains a fictionalized account of the Doctor's adventures with Sam, the Brigadier and UNIT (and features Bessie!) and is written in the style of The Avengers (the Doctor is a secret agent, and calls Sam "Mrs Jones"). This is thanks to the Doctor, who rewrites it to disguise the truth [This being a Paul Magrs story, it is actually implied that this is the "real" version and all of the Doctor's other adventures are fictionalized accounts].
Iris's current incarnation (the "Barbarella" version) is her sixth. There are several references to Hyspero, placing this story between The Scarlet Empress and The Blue Angel (it is four months since the Doctor and Sam saw Iris regenerate, but two years for her). The Doctor mentions finding Iris's journals on her bus, and recognizing them as a plagiarized version of his own life. The events on Hyspero are said to have taken place eight thousand years away from 1968, dating The Scarlet Empress to c9968 AD.
Location: Paris, 1934; New York, June 3rd 1968.