Doctor Who: Time Trips – An extract from Jenny T. Colgan
February 25, 2015, Article by Tom in Books
A few days ago, we were lucky enough to receive a stunning new Doctor Who book, Time Trips. Published on March 5th by BBC Books, it features short stories by an amazing set of writers including Joanne Harris, Cecilia Ahern, Nick Harkaway and Trudi Canavan. It looks properly amazing, and the tales within are brilliant too, written with love and care by proper Whovians.
One of the stories is by the fab Jenny T. Colgan, and we are delighted to be able to share this sneak preview of her Eleventh Doctor story, Into the Nowhere…
‘We appear to be in the TARDIS but the Doctor isn’t talking’ said Clara to herself. ‘This extraordinarily rare phenomenon is believed by some observers to be the result of his gob being immersed in a black hole… actually what are you doing? Have you got addicted to Home and Away again? Are you hungry? I have issues with people who never get hungry.’
The Doctor didn’t even lift his head.
Clara jumped round the other side of the red-flashing console to where the Doctor was craning his neck at a large screen. On it, and replicated on the other monitor, was a sight far from unusual: a planet, orbiting a dull sun.
‘Where are we?’ she asked again.
At this the Doctor let out a sigh.
‘What is wrong with you?’ said Clara. ‘Are you missing that dog thing again? You talk about that dog thing a lot.’
‘Yes,’ said the Doctor finally. ‘But that’s not it.’ He stabbed a long finger at the planet on the screen. ‘I don’t like it,’ he said crossly.
‘It looks harmless,’ said Clara. Storm patterns whorled around its surface.
‘I’m sure it is,’ said the Doctor. ‘But still. I don’t like it. Let’s go somewhere else.’ He started tinkering with a large lever.
‘Hang on,’ said Clara, a smile playing on her lips. ‘Where is it? I mean, what’s it called?’
The Doctor carried on tinkering.
‘Ha! You don’t know! That’s why you’re cross. You actually don’t know something. Are we lost?’
‘No! Absolutely not. Anyway, we never get lost. We occasionally… get fruitfully diverted.’
The awesome Jenny T. Colgan. Give her follow on the Twitters: @jennycolgan
He patted the TARDIS fondly with his hand.
‘Good’ said Clara, putting her hand over his to stop him moving the dial. ‘So, just tell me what this planet’s called then we can get on our way.’
‘Um… it’s called… it’s called…’ The Doctor cast around the room for inspiration. ‘It’s called Hatstandia,’ he said, then screwed up his face at the choice.
‘Hatstandia?’ said Clara. She pushed a button, which lit up red and glowered at her. ‘Hush,’ she said. ‘I’m just checking.’ She looked up. ‘The TARDIS doesn’t think it’s called Hatstandia.’ She stood back and folded her arms. ‘Do neither of you know what it’s called? Now it’s getting interesting.’
‘It’s not on any maps,’ said the Doctor crossly. ‘It’s not referenced anywhere. It’s not in any of the literature.’
He threw a hand-sized item covered in buttons with a ‘D’ and a ‘P’ just visible on the cover across the control room, then checked to make sure it had had a safe landing.
‘Normally if I don’t recognise a planet then the TARDIS knows, or something knows, or I can find out somewhere,’ he said, rubbing the back of his hair. ‘This one, though… It’s just nowhere. Nowhere.’
‘Maybe it’s just too dull to bother giving it a name,’ said Clara.
‘They named Clom,’ said the Doctor. ‘No, it would have a name. Or at the very least, it would still have coordinates and references. But this… It’s like it’s just appeared from nothing.’
‘Oh, a mysterious planet,’ said Clara. ‘Well in that case we’d better leave it alone, don’t you think? Just head off and never think about it again. Yup that will be best…’
They had already landed.
Doctor Who: Time Trips (The Collection) featuring a short story by Jenny T Colgan is published 5th March by BBC Books, price £20.00 in hardback