The latest Doctor Who short story from the BBC blog comes from Paul Cornell (“Human Nature”, “The Family of Blood”), who has woven a story for us about what it might be like to shelter-in-place with the Doctor on some alien world.
Set on a planet named Calapia, the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham end up stuck in a shelter for three weeks because they’re unaware of the planet’s little “Death Moon” problem. They move through board games pretty quickly (because the Doctor uses Scrabble as an excuse to make the letter tiles into patterns, and apparently makes noises for every chess piece she moves), and end up playing that game where you stick a piece of paper to your head and play twenty questions off of it. Eventually, Yaz notices something peculiar about the Doctor’s behavior and decides to have a chat with her about it:
A little later that same day, Yaz joined the Doctor on one of her walks. She wanted to share what she’d observed. ‘I thought you said you were socially awkward?’ she said. ‘’Cause I’m not seeing that right now.’
The Doctor looked worried. ‘I am. Often. Seriously. But this is a task. I’m good at tasks. Thanks for noticing. Don’t tell the others. I don’t want them to start seeing me doing it. Or they’ll get tired too.’
‘You made yourself annoying so we’d feel relieved when you stopped.’
‘Oh. Yeah. Did that without thinking about it. Relief that summat’s better than you thought it would be will get you through a day or so of awfulness. I learned that at Woodstock.’
Woodstock must be where the Doctor got that coat from Janice Joplin, yeah?
There are a lot of gems in this story, including a reference to Cornell’s incredible two-parter from season three. If you need a pick-me-up today, or any time soon, you should definitely give it a read.