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Welcome to the Doctor Who Online Short Stories section. A new area where we will publish exclusive, free, tie-in fiction for the Doctor Who television series. Beatrix And The Doctor is our first story, which leads directly into the 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special; 'Twice Upon A Time'.

The Story

Beatrix And The Doctor
By Sebastian J. Brook
The Doctor lay motionless on the floor of the TARDIS. A burst of regenerative energy emanated around the graze on his head. In the space between consciousness, memories flashed before him; Bill, Nardole, Rose, Martha, Donna, Jack, Vastra, Jenny, Sarah Jane, Amy, Clara, River and Missy.

The energy dispersed and The Doctor sat up, taking in a large gasp of air.

"Sontaran’s perverting the course of human history!", he shouted, before taking in another large intake of breath.

"I don't want to go!", he exclaimed, as he staggered his way around the TARDIS console.

"When the Doctor was me..." he thought for a moment, then lurched at the dematerialisation lever.

* * * * *
Karn; Kasterborous Constellation

The Doctor stumbled out of the TARDIS and dropped to his knees on the rocky planet surface. He closed his eyes and took in a slow draw of breath to settle himself.

"I know what you would ask, but the process has already begun.", came a voice from beyond the rocky pillars.

As the fiery embers of the ceremonial torches flickered before him, The Doctor opened his eyes, and searched for a familiar face. A solitary figure slowly came into view.

"I can't change, I refuse!" he exclaimed, almost certainly to reassure himself.

"My dear Doctor, you walk down a lonely path; one which you have travelled all of your lives. This is your fate, is it not?" said Ohila, High Priestess of the Sisterhood Of Karn.

"I have. It is, but... No more", he replied.

"No more?" She smirked. "I once offered you a choice, but, as you come before me at this late hour, you are beyond such a luxury. I can only slow the process to allow you to set your affairs in order". Ohila turned towards a stone plinth, picked up a chalice and offered it to The Doctor.

A defeated expression covered The Doctor's face, before asking; "How long?..."

"One cycle of the planet you hold dearest to you.", Ohila replied.

The Doctor took the chalice from Ohila, and drank down its contents. His head dropped to his chest and he let out a small, sharp burst of regenerative energy. He looked at his hands and wiggled his fingers, then stood up and surveyed his surroundings.

The Doctor staggered for a few moments before regaining his strength and walked towards the TARDIS.

"Oh and Doctor!", Ohila shouted. "Look to the end of your beginnings, and you will find that which you seek.", she added.

She smiled as she watched The Doctor open the TARDIS doors, and within moments the blue box dematerialised. "Until our next meeting!", Ohila uttered in a quiet voice.

* * * * *
Hill Top; Cumbria (June 1897)


Miss Potter hovered her pen over the letter for a moment. The moment turned into several minutes, and before long, the ink in her pen had dried up, so she dipped it back in the ink pot and hovered once more over the nearly blank piece of paper before her.

"Dear Freda", she said out loud, as if to motivate her to continue the letter. But the words wouldn't flow, and, for a very rare moment in her short career, Miss Potter was quite literally lost for words.

She glanced at the botanical sketches that were scattered over her desk, as the sun emerged from the clouds outside her window and cast a golden fan in front of her. She closed her eyes and felt the warm rays on her right cheek.

There was a strange noise outside her door, followed by a firm double knock. Miss Potter opened her eyes, pleased at the excuse to distract her from her work, then stood up and made her way over to the front door and opened it.

A grey-haired man, dressed in a shabby coat turned around to greet her, he beamed a broad smile; "Miss Potter?" he asked, still beaming.

"Can I help you?", asked Miss Potter. "I was going to ask you the very same question!", exclaimed The Doctor.

Miss Potter examined The Doctor's clothes further and chuckled. She chuckled louder and covered her mouth before saying "I’m sorry". She laughed once more. "I must apologise for my rudeness, sir, but... and excuse me for being blunt, your coat looks like it has been eaten by mice!”

The Doctor laughed out loud, surpassing the volume and intensity of Miss Potter's. "Yes!", he replied. "I left it in my..." He paused for a second, searching for the right word. "Vehicle", he continued. "It's infested with them!", he smiled.

Miss Potter paused for a moment, trying to compose herself. "A vehicle...infested with mice?", she asked, now unable to control herself from laughing further. She composed herself once more before asking in a serious tone; "Where is this vehicle?". Her bottom lip quivered, as she fought back a smirk.

The Doctor stepped aside, to reveal his TARDIS at the end of the path to Miss Potter's house. The pair turned back to each other with a serious expression, before laughing hysterically in unison. The Doctor then turned and walked towards the TARDIS.

Miss Potter decided to play along and followed the strange man to the blue box at the end of her garden path.

The Doctor rummaged in his pocket for the TARDIS key, as Miss Potter looked on in puzzlement, wondering what on earth she was going to see beyond the blue doors.

The key turned slowly in the lock and as the door swung open with a creak. The Doctor ushered Miss Potter in.

"Well I never...", She exclaimed, walking in slow motion with her jaw open. She turned to The Doctor with a shocked expression on her face. "Just HOW many mice do you have in here?" she asked, gobsmacked.

The Doctor smirked and made his way over to the TARDIS console. "Miss Potter! Do me a favour and push that door to."

Miss Potter closed the door; her face turned from shock to awe. "Is it a trick?", she asked. "It is, isn't it?". The expression of awe now turned back to shock.

"It's quite safe" The Doctor reassured her. Come over here and pull that lever. Miss Potter made her way to the TARDIS console and, with her hand slightly shaking, she pulled the lever down, and the time rotor started to rise and fall, as a wheezing, groaning sound enveloped the space around them.

"Now look here, Mr...", Miss Potter struggled to find the words. "Mouse Man!"

"Oh, I'm The Doctor, actually. Just The Doctor", he added.

"Mouse Man this simply won't do - I...I...", Miss Potter stuttered her words.

The Doctor finished her sentence; "You are in need of some inspiration, and I am in need of a pleasant distraction!"

Before Miss Potter could reply, the time rotor and the sounds around them wound down until there was only a faint humming.

"We've landed!", said The Doctor with a half-smirk.

"Landed? Landed!", exclaimed Miss Potter, now with a tone of anger in her voice. Whatever fun she was experiencing before, now seemed to be evaporating quickly.

She backed towards the TARDIS doors and with her hand still shaking, she reached for the handle and opened it. A blast of cold air made its way through the gap of the open door. Miss Potter jumped back, startled by the unexpected sensation.

She held her hand up in front of her face and saw the hairs on the back of her hand standing up. She couldn't work out if it was the cold air or the excitement that now swelled through her.

The Doctor suddenly appeared behind her with a coat. "You'll be needing this!", he said.

He opened the door fully and stepped outside before exclaiming; "Gloucester! December in the year 1895!", almost boasting, as Miss Potter stood, frozen in the TARDIS doorway.

Slowly, almost robotically, she put the coat on and stepped outside.

College Court, Gloucester; (December 1895)

The Doctor turned around to face the shop standing in front of them; "Number 9, College Court" - suddenly Miss Potter snapped out of her shock as the words "Number 9, College Court" echoed in her head. This wasn't the first time she heard those words...

"This is the Tailor's shop, is it not?", she asked The Doctor.

"THE Tailor of Gloucester!", he said, beaming!

"My cousin, Caroline told me of this place!", recalled Miss Potter. "There was a tailor, who was taken ill one evening as he was finishing a suit for the Mayor of Gloucester. The next morning he awoke from his fever to discover the suit had been finished, and he had quite convinced himself it was the work of fairies.", she added, smiling.

Miss Potter walked towards the window of the shop and peered in. There he was; John Pritchard; the tailor of Gloucester, working away on a wooden counter top, snipping happily at pieces of material.

The tailor noticed Miss Potter, peering through the window and smiled at her. As soon as they locked eyes she stepped back, almost embarrassed that she had been seen.

Miss Potter looked up at The Doctor. "How...how have you done this, Mouse Man?"

"I have one more surprise for you!", said The Doctor, completely ignoring her question.

He walked back to the TARDIS and opened the door. Miss Potter followed closely, wondering what on earth the next surprise would entail.

She instinctively started to close the door behind her as she took one final glance at the tailor’s shop.

"Remember that lever?", he asked. Miss Potter walked over to the console and looked at The Doctor. He nodded and she pulled the lever, as the time rotor started to move and the air around them was filled once more with noise.

Miss Potter looked at The Doctor and smiled, and in a matter of moments the activity stopped as they landed again.

College Court, Gloucester; (December 1745)

She rushed over to the door and opened it in excitement. They were in exactly the same place, but the shop somehow looked newer.

"December in the year 1745!", The Doctor said to Miss Potter, almost whispering. He offered his hand to her and she grabbed it, smiling, as they set off to walk the Gloucester streets.

All about her were men and women dressed in fine clothing, all seemingly headed toward the same destination. As they proceeded through the archway at the end of College Court and down the cobbled streets, they came to the glorious sight of Gloucester Cathedral. It was Christmas Eve, and everyone was gathering to sing carols.

The pair went inside and found their places to sit. The Doctor picked up a book of carols from the back of the pew in front of him, and shared it with Miss Potter. The organ fired up and everyone rose to their feet as the first carol began.

Miss Potter looked up at The Doctor and smiled once more. She now felt completely safe with this man, as if she had known him all her life. The Doctor looked down at Miss Potter, noticing her smile, and mirrored it back to her.

They stayed for the duration of the service, and as the bishop closed his final address, the pair headed out of the cathedral, back through the streets of Gloucester. It was now night time, and the moon shone brightly, casting a silver glow over the rooftops.

The Doctor and Miss Potter continued through the cobbled streets, as everyone else made their way home, and as they passed through the now familiar archway at the end of College Court, Miss Potter stopped to look at the window of the tailor's shop, one final time.

There was another tailor working away at the wooden counter top; he was hard at work, sewing an intricate pattern, lit only by a single candle, the reflection of which danced around the walls of the shop. A cat was his only company, weaving its way in and out of the legs of the stool he sat on. Beatrix was spellbound by what she saw; the candlelight was so inviting, and, despite the obvious fact the Tailor wasn't the richest of folk, it was clear he loved his job.

"Time to go!", said The Doctor, with a reluctant expression on his face. Miss Potter's gaze was broken from that of the spellbinding aesthetic of the shop, to that of The Doctor, standing in the doorway of the TARDIS. She walked over to him, entered, and then closed the TARDIS door behind her.

The Doctor moved around to the far side of the console. "If you wouldn't mind", he said, nodding at the lever. Miss Potter's hand hovered over the lever, reluctantly, knowing exactly where the ship was taking them. She looked back up at The Doctor and smiled, before enthusiastically pulling the lever.

* * * * *

Hill Top; Cumbria (June 1897)

The Doctor and Miss Potter left the TARDIS, as they walked up to the front door of her house. The Doctor stood in the doorway as she prepared to say her goodbyes. Miss Potter took in a long breath and sighed; "Thank You, Mouse Man!" A lump began to form in her throat, which she tried, unsuccessfully, to clear.

"No - Thank YOU, Miss Potter", he replied, smiling at her. As The Doctor turned to head back down the path, his jacket snagged on one of the nails that jutted out from the side of the doorframe, and a thick thread of red velvet released itself from the jacket and remained on the nail.

Miss Potter noticed, then unhooked the thread from the nail and laughed out loud. "My name is Beatrix!", she shouted. The Doctor turned around and shouted back; "I know!", and disappeared into the TARDIS.

Before her eyes, Miss Potter watched as the TARDIS faded from view, revealing the picturesque Cumbrian countryside in its place.

She looked back down at the red thread in her hand, clutched it tightly and laughed, before heading back inside to her desk.

As Miss Potter sat down, she looked out of her window. The sun had disappeared back behind the clouds, but she didn't mind; her head was brimming full of new ideas, and she enthusiastiacally picked up her pen and continued writing:


Because you are fond of fairytales, and have been ill, I have made you a story all for yourself—a new one that nobody has read before.

And the queerest thing about it is—that I heard it in Gloucestershire, and that it is true—at least about the tailor, the waistcoat, and the “No more twist!”

Christmas, 1901"

In the time of swords and peri wigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets—when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta—there lived a tailor in Gloucester...

* * * * *

The Doctor walked up to the bookshelf on the gangway and guided his finger over the spines, looking for a title. He picked up 'The Tailor of Gloucester', and ran his finger over the black text on the cover which read "Beatrix Potter". He smiled, and placed it back before taking a larger book out of the pocket of his coat - and slipped it next to The Tailor Of Gloucester. The spine of the book read: 'Collected Carols'. A michievous smile curled over The Doctor's mouth.

He walked slowly down the stairway and stood by the TARDIS console and remembered; "When The Doctor was me...", he said, as the TARDIS jolted, pushing him against the console, an alarm blaring in the background.

He looked down at his hands, as they began to glow with regenerative energy. "Its starting...I'm regenerating. No, No, No, No, No, Nooooo!", he shouted, as he raised his arms and threw down his hands, refusing the process. The regenerative energy disappeared, and the TARDIS simultaneously landed.

"Where have you taken me?", he called out to the TARDIS. "If you're trying to make a point, I'm not listening! I don't want to change again. Never again! I can't keep on being somebody else. Wherever it is, I'm staying!" He walked over to the TARDIS doors, opened them, stepped out and closed the doors behind him. The TARDIS cloister bell sounded.

The South Pole; Antarctica (1986)

The Doctor knelt on the snowy ground in front of the TARDIS as the regenerative energy once more returned. "Noooooo!", he shouted, before expelling his fists, full of regenerative energy into the snow.

"I will not change!", he reassured himself. He looked at his hands where the regenerative energy had been, before hearing a voice from beyond the snowdrift.

"I will not change! I will not! No, no, no, no. The whole thing's ridiculous.", came the voice.

"Hello? Is someone there?", The Doctor shouted.

"Who is that", the voice replied.

"I'm The Doctor", said The Doctor, as flecks of snow fell across his face.

"The Doctor!? Oh I don't think so! No! Dear me, no!", said the voice, now approaching closer. "You may be A Doctor, but I am THE Doctor - the original, you might say!"

The Doctor saw the familiar face of his very first incarnation come into view...

* * * * *

Page Updated: 24/12/2017
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Story Details

Written By:
Sebastian J. Brook

Illustrated By:
Andy W. Clift

Promo Poster By:
Simon Banks

With Thanks To:
Christopher Thomson
(12th Doctor Voice)

Pat at The Tailor Of Gloucester Shop

Gloucester Cathedral
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Mackenzie Flohr

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